Please welcome my super-sweet friend, Heather from Special Needs Homeschooling as she guest posts today. Since our family suffered the flu last month, I really appreciate her ideas for keeping the family healthy.
I am the proud momma of 5 children, and we all have a compromised immune system. This past fall we got the very first round of flu-like illness. It was dubbed the ‘zombie flu’ by my crew. All we could do for days was lay around moaning about how much it hurt and made us feel icky. The kids were walking around convinced they could see cooties on the doorknobs, countertops, and even the dog. They were right there were cooties and we needed to clean them up.
That was just the beginning of the winter for us. Hubby and I are very good after 12 years of immune issues in the house at killing germs and keeping the ickies at bay. This year however the stakes were raised to a scary high level that left me in the hospital. I became so sick that I had to go to the hospital twice.
The second time was because I had a Hospital Acquired Infection (Second Hospital Stay in a Month, Hospital Acquired Infection) that was resistant to almost all antibiotics. You can see how this scared us BIG time. All the kids could get it easily and it would be horrible if they did. So cootie hunting became a family sport.
In my world GERMS = COOTIES! Just sayin’ because my kids are much happier to help me Cootie Hunt, than clean up germs.
My immune-compromised kiddos didn’t get the HAI infection even though it was easy to transmit. Cootie hunting was a SUCCESS! Here’s how we did it!
Hot soapy washing of hands is a MUST.
The antibacterial stuff is okay when you are out and about but it does not kill all bacteria. Good old fashioned washing your hands does a great job through friction and water simply washing them away. Have the kids sing a full verse of Old McDonald had a farm and that will be the perfect amount of time!
***Use paper towels when someone is sick. Germs go straight in the trash!***
Cleaning your clothing and bedding regularly.
Changing clothes daily is the norm for most people but when is the last time you washed your jacket? Hmmm Think of how many things and people you have encountered at the store and out and about in that jacket. A few sneezes and you brought home cooties!
***Be sure Kleenexes are easily available to discourage the sleeve wipe.***
Shoes are a big germ carrier.
Take those shoes off at the door and either wipe them down or spray them in an antibacterial.
Bleach used sensibly is your friend.
Use it diluted with water around the areas most prone to hard to kill cooties. The toilet, your front door knob, any place feces is found like the cat or dog made a mess. For baby areas do not use bleach. Soap and water do a fine job when used promptly.
***Also wipe down the van/car, especially car seats.***
Be sure everyone has their own toothbrushes and cups and are using them.
I have a large family and found that in the rush of bedtime toothbrushes were getting mixed up and everyone reverted to getting their mouthwash out of the cap of the mouthwash. And that is how we all ended up with strep. Don’t do it. Color code it’s the easiest way trust me!
Know when to go to the doctor and when to ride out the storm.
Antibiotics misused could create resistant germs. Or could change the GI system’s flora and leave you open to tummy cooties. That is how I got one of my HAI, too strong of IV antibiotics without follow up and I got C-diff. (Look it up if you have a strong stomach and need a reason encourage someone in your life to be vigilant about antibiotics.) On the other hand a child that gets dehydrated will be more nauseous causing them to feel terrible. [SOURCE]
The good thing is the majority of germs are rather hard to share. They tend to die easily when outside the body and you need to be rather close to share cooties. Some cooties like the flu or the common cold can be passed along easier. No need to get overly anxious just be aware and fight the germs before they make someone sick in your home. When someone becomes ill take all precautions that they might have the flu or strep throat. Better to jump ahead of the cootie parade then try to play catch up while your husband and daughter are taking turns being sick in the bathroom.
Join me my friends in the Great Cootie Hunt!
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