Years ago (pre-kid), I got a horrid case of norovirus and (I think) as a result I now have major anxiety about vomiting and stomach bugs in general. Of course norovirus is everywhere right now and the way I know to manage anxiety is to be prepared so I'd love your tips if you've lived this recently on what helped/would have helped, particularly around containing the mess. I have plenty of disinfectant, masks to try and keep the non-infected away from germs, trash bags, all that stuff. My biggest challenge, gross as it sounds, is how to manage when vomiting and diarrhea are happening at the same time. I remember very clearly and traumatically living the Bridesmaids scene with things uncontrollably coming out of both ends. My mom blissfully cleaned up after me then but what does one do with a kid who's not in diapers anymore in this eventuality? Multiple sheet sets to prevent the mattress from getting ruined? Laying down in the bathroom on something? We have small bathrooms so I'm not sure how to do that and overall I'm having a very hard time planning for that part of it. We don't use waterproof mattress covers because they're typically plastic and my daughter overheats easily so I'm just remembering how messy this was even for me as an adult and trying to minimize the damage (recognizing it will still be a mess but at least I'll feel somewhat ready for it). Thank you!
persimmon / 1351 posts
Can you use waterproof mattress covers and just put less blankets on top of her? Ours has really saved our mattresses when the stomach bug hits. I've also layered sheets, and lined the top of the bed with towels and put towels on the ground around the bed (none of my kids have been able to master getting to the bathroom in time). Plus lots of buckets. We had a particularly nasty bug last year and one of my kids had an accident on our couch so now we also line the couch with towels when someone has a stomach bug.
grapefruit / 4580 posts
I also have vomit anxiety, and yeah...I've been hearing weekly reports of who threw up in what location at school for weeks if not months now. I'm currently having my kids take probiotic vitamins & either eat lots of yogurt/drink probiotic/Yakult type drinks. I always make sure we have sick people food (Gatorade, Little Noodle soup envelopes, oyster crackers/saltines) in our house when bugs are going around so that if I'm taken down, I don't have to go out to get food supplies for sick kids.
As far as mess management, we brought home the little pink tubs (emesis basins) from the hospital when kids were born, and those are my go-to barf buckets...they're for soaking stained laundry the rest of the time. I've kept crib mattresses and in the past have had sick kids lay on those on a hard floor (not carpeted rooms, in case of accidents) with a bowl/bin nearby and quick access to a bathroom. For two ends at once issues, I just send them to the bathroom with a small lightweight plastic trash can lined with a plastic bag and a few paper towels on the bottom (to absorb/prevent splashing). This is light and easy enough for them to hold, or just put between their legs on the floor.
Also, have mattress covers like these on every bed in our house at all times - they don't cause a sweating issue for anyone, and we have several people who run very hot. It's a super thin waterproof lining topped by fleece or terrycloth:
apricot / 408 posts
I don't have great advice, but I totally feel this concern. Last week, about half of my second grader's class was out with norovirus. Somehow we made it through that round unscathed (probably only because my daughter was home sick with a cold) but I feel like it's coming for us soon. Eek.
persimmon / 1196 posts
If it makes you feel any better, we had a bug come through the house last week. I ruled out Noro, since we only had vomiting, not diarrhea. Pediatrician said it still sounded like Noro to her, and it doesn't always present with both. Five of us caught it, but no toilet emergencies (compared to when my partner and I had Noro before kids, and it was both ends every time). Still good to be prepared, but even if you all get sick, it may not be as bad as you fear!
Also, we have great puke buckets from the Dollar Tree. Lightweight plastic with handles and pour spouts, and they're easy to hold on a lap while sitting on a toilet.
coconut / 8483 posts
Toilet for poo, bucket for barf. After a couple barfs not much is coming out anyways, so there’s not much to catch.
I have serious anxiety around stomach bugs too, so I feel you. We got it bad last year, and honestly it was a bad 12 hours… out of an entire 365 days. So j keep telling myself if we get it, we get it. We will be fine. It will suck. We will survive. Good luck.
Oh and we were not at all prepared so had friends drop off Gatorade and soup. So I’d keep that stocked!
blogger / nectarine / 2043 posts
Thanks, everyone, appreciate the suggestions! Hope to not have to deal with this but I do feel a little more prepared hearing the experiences. Appreciate it!
pomelo / 5256 posts
I pass out when I vomit (because I'm awesome like that) so I opt for vomiting into a waste basket instead of the toilet. I find throwing the bag away and starting fresh much more pleasant than washing a bucket between getting sick.