It is the season of stomach bugs! The season where it seems that our kiddos can pick up this nasty virus from just about anywhere…school, the playground, riding in cars, gymnastics, sometimes simply just breathing!
Some quick facts on viruses in general: Viruses can be transmitted by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated liquids, touching contaminated objects and then putting them in your mouth, and sharing utensils or cups with infected individuals. They can survive on household surfaces for up to 2 weeks and even survive some disinfectants, such as alcohol-based hand-sanitizers.
Since the stomach bug, a virus, is typically extremely contagious with the ability to spread easily and swiftly, we wanted to share some quick tips for parents on how to keep the stomach bug from visiting your home this season:
Tip #1 – Wash your hands! Hand washing and just being sure things are clean in general is the #1 way to stay well. This is very important, especially after touching and taking care of your sick child. When preparing food and eating, be sure everyone washes hands before eating. Wash hands after playing outside or after a playdate. At home, use paper towels instead of cloth towels for hand drying and be sure to replace those cute hand towels in the bathrooms with paper towels as well.
Tip #2 – Thoroughly wash laundry. Any clothes or linen that may be contaminated must be removed and washed immediately, when possible. The best way to kill this virus is to wash with hot water at the maximum available cycle length and dry the laundry on high heat.
Tip #3 – Wait until your child has been recovered for a minimum of 24 – 48 hours before sending them back to school or daycare. Although they might not be throwing up or have diarrhea anymore, they are still carrying the virus and can be highly contagious! (And parents & teachers will thank you!)
Now some may ask, is there medicine I can give my child while they’re sick with the virus? Most doctors say children rarely need any medication when recovering from the stomach bug. There are some options available, but the best thing to do is let the virus run its course, stay hydrated, and talk to your doctor about any concerns.