A Day At The Beach

Dear Friends,

That old stomach bug got me this weekend. It is never fun so it is time for me to replenish by Beach Bag. Now is a good time to do this as all the beach toys are in every drug store and Dollar Store in town.

Are you prepared for those nasty stomach viruses that can sometimes invade your home? You know the ones where you are up all night holding your baby’s head. Not to mention cleaning up the beds, steam cleaning the carpet and doing laundry in the wee hours of the morning. Multiply this by every member in your home; it is not a day at the beach. I want to help you turn a rough night into just a bad dream instead of a nightmare.

When the bug attacks your family it is usually in the middle of the night and you can’t run to the pharmacy; you need to have the necessary supplies at your finger tips. Keep in mind that you can get dehydrated very quickly if this starts happening in your home. So what do you need to have on hand? Grab one of your old beach bags and gather up the items that your family is going to need.

Ask your doctor. When my son was little, sports drink was just about the only thing that would replace electrolytes. Now there is Pedia-lite and Popsicles for the children and many other kinds of sport drinks. There are some over the counter medicines that will help to stop the throwing up and queasiness: we used Emotrol. So ask your doctor what is best for your family and keep it on hand.

So what do you do? After the initial explosion, it is time to clean up. The longer it stays on the bed and in the carpet the worse this is going to be; a small handheld carpet steamer is going to make your life easier. While are cleaning up you still have to make a place for your babies to rest: a little air mattress that blows up quick can be put in the bathroom or close by for those emergency situations. Poor babies! By the way, nothing says I love you like a clean toilet at this time. Also a handy sand bucket for those times that you can’t get there! You may even want to give them a little incentive for hitting the bucket. Children may not feel well but if they think they are going to get some money for each good hit then you could put a smile on their face.

At time when the whole family is in distress, it may be good to have a sheet in your control journal that outlines what to do, just in case you are the one who is sick and your spouse is in charge. Barking out orders when you feel bad doesn’t come across well. So if it is written down and you have everything on hand, there is no panic.

What food do you keep on hand? My pediatrician always told us to only feed the baby clear soups and diluted juices. This means no noodles. One food that my granny used to fix for us was a very simple potato soup. Take a potato and grate it in a saucepan, add water to cover over it a little and a bit of salt and cook it is done; only a few short minutes. Remember don’t feed your family grape juice or red cranberry juice; that makes an even bigger mess to clean up. There are white versions of both of these. Dry toast, crackers and plenty of TLC and you will be back to normal in a few hours. Put some of these things in your beach bag.

Use your internet to read up and print out the signs for dehydration. Keep this in your Control Journal. The one sign I know is about the skin on top of your hand. If you pinch it, it will stay pinched up. Keep your doctors phone number in your Control Journal too. As their little throat gets raw, try to get them to drink some water that is cool; maybe one ice cube in it, just before they throw up. The cool water actually feels good to the back of the throat, especially if they have nothing else in their tummy but hot stomach acid. This works for morning sickness too. I am not a doctor or a nurse, but we all have to play these roles when this hit our family. Talk to your doctor about medications, set up an emergency sheet for your Control Journal that tells anyone what to do and then just stay calm and watch for signs of dehydration. Don’t forget your doctor’s phone numbers on this sheet and wash your hand often.

When the stomach flu rages in your home, those old towels become a valuable asset. As you upgrade your regular towels, keep a few of the old ones for times like this. An old beach towel makes a great cover for that air mattress and another one will make a blanket to cover up with. It is never fun when you are dealing with the whole family in sick mode, but you can get through it, with a little thinking about this right now. The sand bucket can catch those accidents when your baby can’t make it to the bathroom. Then you can use the little sand shovel to scoop up the misfires along with your Rubba Scrubba.

What a day at the beach!


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