When a family member gets sick, having a ‘Sick Kit’ on hand makes life (and cleanup) so much easier! Head to the store and throw together your own kit so that you will be prepared next time sickness hits your house!
‘Tis the season for holidays, preparations, family togetherness…and stomach bugs! Ever since having children, it seems like someone is always sick at a family gathering, which means that inevitably everyone gets sick! Although this isn’t the most jolly of holiday ideas to share, the idea of a ‘sick kit’ is an important one, especially around the holidays!
Why You Need a Sick Kit and What to Put in It
I was first introduced to the concept of creating a ‘sick kit’ from Kids Activities Blog several years ago. This idea was simply genius and I immediately purchased a bucket the next time I was at the store. We have slowly added to our ‘sick survival kit’ over the years. I have found it invaluable for the inevitable middle of the night wake-ups where someone is throwing up (which happens far too often…but such is life with three kids).
There are tons of things you could add to a sick kit for cold and flu season, but I am more concerned about catering to the wretched stomach bugs. I can run to Walgreens at 7am or 10pm and grab some cough medicine, but we don’t have any stores open 24 hours a day to run for emergency puke sessions.
The first thing you’ll need is a sturdy bucket where everything will be put (it also doubles as a puke catcher when the time comes). I bought most everything in this bucket at Dollar Tree (except the cleaner)
- Several plastic grocery bags (to line the puke bucket)
- Plastic Table Cloth (to put to the side of the bed)
- Old Towels (to put on top of the plastic table cloth)
- Latex gloves (for sanitary purposes while cleaning)
- Clear Gatorade (to replenish electrolytes)
- Peppermints (to help get the nasty taste out of their mouths)
- Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner
Choose the Right Cleaner
Let me just say a few words about the Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner (this is not sponsored but it is an affiliate link)…this stuff is seriously the BEST for cleaning nasty germs. I try to use less harsh (and more eco-friendly) cleaners for the majority of my cleaning. But when the pukes come out, I pull out the big guns. My husband is a nursing home administrator and this is identical to the products that they use (they have to follow state and federal protocol to a tee). I use it to wipe down surfaces all over the house after someone gets sick. Since I have started using this cleaner, the chances that someone else in the family gets sick have drastically decreased!
One other practice in our house that has made a HUGE difference in the amount of puke cleanup at our house is BRIBERY. Now that my kids are a bit older, we bribe them with either a toy or $5 (depending on the child) if they ONLY puke in the toilet when they are sick. Since we started bribing our kids, they are pretty diligent about recognizing when they think they will be sick (mouth tingling is the first sign) and rushing to the bathroom. Call us horrible parents for bribing our sick kids, but it works for us! I’m all about cherishing the sick days, but I would much rather be cuddling on the couch watching movies than trying to scrub vomit out of the carpet. :)
A few other things I like to keep on hand during the winter are: elderberry syrup, vitamin c, gatorade, bananas, applesauce, and a few cans of chicken noodle soup (although homemade soup is always better, it isn’t always in the cards in the midst of sickness).
Travel Sick Kit
- Clorox Wipes
- Disposable Vomit Bags
I bought some disposable vomit bags a few years ago before we took a long road trip. We kept a couple in the console just in case and we recently put it to use when my daughter suddenly said she was going to be sick while running errands in town. Her stomach bug came on suddenly and the vomit bags SAVED my car as I could grab one from the console and quickly hand it back to her!