Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wanted: A Good Night's Sleep

It's that time of year again. If you've got kids in school, you might be able to guess that I'm talking about the annual stomach virus. So far, in our house, my six-year-old son and I have both been afflicted. I was up with him for several hours on Sunday night. He was mostly better on Monday, but I still didn't sleep well. Last night, it was my turn to be awake vomiting for half the night. I'm trying to be optimistic and say that this will be it. My husband and two other boys won't catch it, but I'm not holding my breath.

To keep with a cleaning theme, I thought I'd talk a bit about what different people do when they and their kids are sick. I'm not talking about chicken soup and things of that nature, but rather how do you handle the logistics of cleaning up vomit? Or, better yet, how do you keep the vomit from being a huge mess that involves multiple loads of laundry?

In our house, we have a "puke pot". This is an old non-stick coated soup pot. I don't use pots and pans with non-stick coatings anymore, but the pot is a great size and has been rechristened the "puke pot". I also put old towels down on the sick person's pillow and sometimes put a towel on the floor by the side of the bed. It's nice if we can make it through the night without having to change the sheets. We've had some awful nights in past years where more than one kid was sick and needed multiple sheet changes and even a mid-night bath. It's getting a bit easier to deal with now that the kids are older, simply because they are more likely to make it into the pot.

I've heard of people pulling out old comforters to spread on the floor and having the sick kids camp out there. That way, if the kids miss the bucket or don't make it to the bathroom, everything is contained on the old bedding.

What do you do? How do you keep a night of vomiting from turning into an even longer night of laundry? And, how do you keep the virus from spreading to every member of the household?  Any disinfecting tips?  


  1. Oh my! Cleaning up the Clutter has gone to new lows. But I do hope you all get better.

    Recently medicine for an infection didn't agree with me. It was a morning when I was substitute teaching. I placed a trash can outside the classroom just in case and soon had to use it! Fortunately the students were all engaged and didn't notice I had stepped outside. However, one student outside saw me upchuck and went and got an administrator. He got a janitor and came into the classroom and quietly asked if I needed to go home and I explained about the medicine and made it through the day.

    Hope you make it through, Barb.

  2. I remember Mom putting the towels down on the floor and our pillows. :) Clorox bleach wipes are a great way to disinfect surfaces to prevent the virus from spreading. And don't forget the age old prevention tip--FREQUENT handwashing for EVERYONE in the house--that is the most proven way to prevent the rest of the family from getting ill.

  3. Thanks, ladies! I'm feeling so much better today. The only good thing about a stomach virus is it's relatively quick!

    Carol - How difficult that must have been to be sick at work! Glad you're feeling better, too!

    Pooh - Yeah, I wash my hands until they are raw! Though, I have to say that the first time my son threw up the other night, it was on me, so I was pretty much doomed from that point on - lol. I need to get more Clorox wipes - we're out right now and I do think they help.