How do I stop an illness from spreading?

When one person gets sick, we all get sick! This adage  is true in my family, and many others. While prevention isn’t always a 100% guarantee that you won’t get it, it definitely reduces the chances and the duration. Outside of making sure our children don’t share cups or food, and remembers to cover their mouths, or wash their hands, we try to clean the “hot spots” in our house every night and turn things over when their fever breaks.

I know, by now you are thinking you have to be kidding me! I know it seems like a lot and time consuming, especially when you are tired, but if you have everything already made or bought, it takes less than 10 minutes to clean the whole house. You can use the Clorox wipes or even make a simple safe spray using just vinegar! Here is my favorite recipe: Add 10-15 drops of Lavender essential oil, it doesn’t have to be organic, to 1 cups of vinegar. Shake and spray away! It is safe for children of all ages and expecting mothers.  Don’t use it though if you know you have an allergic reaction to lavender.  Please keep it out of reach of small children, as you don’t want them to accidently drink it.

Realistically, unless someone has the stomach flu, in which case the bathroom toilet, toilet handle, door knob, and sink gets cleaned every time the person is in the bathroom, we mainly wait until the person goes to bed, and just open the windows when we can to air out the house and wipe down the kitchen counters.

When the person goes to bed, we go over in in our mind everything they may have touched or sat on, aka the “hot spots”. Then we start at one end of the room and begin wiping anything they touched: the hard kitchen chairs, the kitchen table, the fridge handles, the faucet handle, remotes, door knobs, and I even spray the sofa, foot stool, or upholstered chair they were sitting on – including the pillows. If they used a blanket when they had a fever the blanket goes into the wash pile and I pull out another one for the next day.

Then I make my way down the hallway and wipe the light switches, their bedroom door knob, inside-and-out. In their room, I quietly wipe down the ladder and the railing on the bunk bed and their light switch. When they were toddlers I would wipe down the toys they played with that day. Sometimes with really bad illnesses I would spray the legos down in the bins and move them around to help clean them. Now that can get a bit noisy, so I try to do that outside of their room or wait until morning.

Then I do the restroom – faucet, sink, light switch, toilet handle, door knob- inside-and-out, and if they had a shower or bath that day, the hot and cold knob and the faucet.

Finally, if they were in my room, I do the door handles, light switches and anywhere else they may have been. If they were just on my bed, I don’t usually do anything about it; but that’s just me.

We also make sure the sickies clothes are changed  right after a fever breaks, along with new bedding and a shower or bath. Toothbrushes are also replaced as soon as they show signs of getting better. If we have to, we remove the other sibling from the room for a day or two, increasing our chances of only having one sick child.

Most importantly though, we adults,  drink lots of fluids, take our elderberry syrup, beef up our vitamin c and vitamin d, and rest when we can.

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