A couple of weeks ago, our family got nailed by a nasty stomach bug.
Three of the five of us struggled to keep food down for two days. Some of us still felt tired and weak for several days longer. And because I was one of the people sick, it made everything extra hard. Fortunately, my husband was awesome about taking care of all of us during that time. And while it was a horrible experience, I am grateful for the reminder to be prepared when sickness strikes.
Because here’s the thing: Someone in your house will get sick. It is a given! And it could be a kid, or you, or your whole entire family. Being prepared for when the stomach flu or a nasty cold cycles through your house can help you feel better more quickly and save you money, too.
Be prepared when sickness strikes
Here’s how we make sure we’re prepared for when those nasty viruses try to knock us out:
Keep wholesome (yet bland) staples on hand.
When you’ve got upset tummies in the house, you want to make sure you stick to simple staples. Make sure to keep a stash of things like chicken soup, crackers, bread, bananas, and rice. Be sure to keep easy convenience foods on hand like macaroni and cheese or pasta for family members who may not be sick. Make some meals ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. Your healthier family members will appreciate a home-cooked meal while you recover.
Make hydration a priority.
Keeping hydrated means you can flush those germs away faster. And if you’re battling a cold it can help you loosen up your head and lungs. Keep juice and water on hand. You may also want to keep some ginger ale or 7Up in your pantry. Popsicles can do a world of good for little ones with fevers and sore throats.
Stock up on over-the-counter remedies.
Whether you prefer more natural remedies or over-the-counter medications, stock up well before the flu arrives. We try to keep honey on hand for coughs and sore throats. We also make sure we keep a variety of decongestants, fever reducers, and stomach relief products on hand. By stocking up in advance, you’ll have time to shop with coupons and find the best deals. And when you’re really sick, you won’t have to stagger out to the store to buy something at full price!
Build a stash of household goods.
Flu bugs are nasty. There’s just no other way to put it. Keep disinfecting products or wipes and trash bags on hand. Make sure to have plenty of toilet paper and facial tissues. A nurse practioner I know recommends tossing your toothbrushes each time a bug rolls through the house, so keep some new toothbrushes on hand, too.
Make sure to have plenty of laundry detergent and household cleaners on hand for any unfortunate messes. You may even want to keep disposable plates and cups around, if the chief dishwasher in your house is out of commission.
Don’t forget hand soap and hand sanitizer. The more you can wash your hands, the less likely you will be to spread your cooties!
Be prepared to entertain.
Parents don’t get days off, even when they’re sick. So if you’re laid out by a virus, your kids may still be looking for things to do. Keep some quiet activities on hand – like coloring or activity books – for kids to do while you recover. Make sure to have some family friendly movies they can watch while you sleep on the couch. This is a great time to encourage your child’s inner artist or LEGO designer.
Getting back on the road to good health
Being prepared when sickness strikes can really help you on your road to recovery. You can focus on getting better instead of worrying about dinner or figuring out how you’re going to get to the store for cough syrup.
Just remember to replenish those stockpiles when you’re feeling better so you’re ready for the next time.
What things do you do to be prepared for flu bugs?