Sickness has been making its way through our house this week and while it seems pretty much impossible to stop, I thought I’d share a couple things that I do as soon as possible when someone gets sick in our house. Call it the Clean Mama ‘My Kids Are Sick’ Cleaning Routine.
Full disclosure: I am a little freaky when it comes to illness. I was much worse when I was a teacher, going into full-on internal panic if someone looked a little green. Being a mom has loosened my paranoia quite a bit, but I have a little routine that I put in effect when anyone comes down with something. When I say come down with something I am NOT talking about the sniffles or a little cold, I am talking fever, stomach flu, viruses, etc. I hope it goes without saying that of course I take care of my children before doing the things on this list. Usually I complete these when said sick child is sleeping or on the couch watching a movie.
- Change hand towels. Continue to change hand towels daily ( I do this as part of my routine, especially during cold and flu season) until everyone is better.
- Remind kiddos about the importance of hand washing – 30 seconds, sing happy birthday, wash past the wrist, etc. Practice what you preach and wash your hands frequently too.
- Give kids a small plastic bag (ages 4+ only for safety) for tissues – keep on the couch or wherever they are camped out so tissues aren’t strewn all over.
- Clean all bathrooms – if you only have a couple minutes, wipe down the sink handles and toilets. Here’s how I clean all my bathrooms in 15 minutes – a great method anytime, but especially effective when everyone comes down with something. When everyone is well, do a thorough cleaning of the bathrooms.
- I keep a plastic bucket in the garage and line it with a plastic bag for anyone that might not make it to the bathroom. Use plastic liners in garbage cans to contain the germs a bit as well.
- Use a cotton ball or cotton cosmetic cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and wipe any remotes/phones/video controls.
- Use a sanitizing wipe or rubbing alcohol pad to wipe down switches and switch plates, door handles, and the refrigerator handle.
- Wash bedding – I usually change pillow cases and leave the actual bedding until the sick child(ren) is/are better. Don’t forget to wash pillows, comforters, quilts, and throw blankets on the couch too.
- Soak toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide for about 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly in water. Replace toothbrushes when illness is over.
I’m always so thankful that I have a cleaning routine when something unexpected strikes – the house is tidy because I keep up with the daily tasks, so a couple days of not completing every task isn’t a big deal. Don’t ever fret about not completing a task for the day: a) it’ll be there later, b) it’s just cleaning, c) you can catch up on Friday or next week. And I’m always up for extra cuddles and snuggles from my babies.
Here’s a little idea for a sick kit – something simple to throw together and have on hand just in case.