Norovirus. The word that sends chills up the spine of any parent. That dreaded note that comes home from school saying a child, or maybe two or three, in your kids’ class has been sent home with the dreaded stomach flu. The problem is, by the time you get the note, your poor child (as well as your entire family) has most likely already been exposed.
My child unfortunately came down with the stomach flu in early spring of last year, and it is not something I want to repeat again this year. Thankfully, I have a new way to help protect my house and my family this year.
While these announcements and notes are panic inducing, there is something you can do at your house to help make sure any germs that are brought in by your kids are swiftly eliminated, and without harsh chemicals.
Check out my top 4 tips for keeping your home and kids a stomach flu free zone during this season.
1.) Lots of hand washing: Your first line of defense, hand washing can help stop the spread of germs to all the surfaces in your house. Make sure you teach your kids proper hand washing techniques, and be sure to get in between those fingers! The CDC recommends that alcohol hand sanitizers be used in addition to hand washing. I like to carry hand sanitizer in my purse for when hand washing isn’t possible, and we keep a bottle in the car and in the stroller as well.
2.) Change clothes after school: I feel like schools are giant germ factories, despite teachers’ and staff’s best efforts. Last year, we had an entire school here shut down because so many of the students caught Norovirus (my poor child being one of them). One of the ways to cut down on transferring those germs into your house is to have your kids change clothes immediately after they get home from school (as well as having them wash their hands!) Clean hands and clean clothes only in my house!
3.) Keep hands away from face and mouth: My daughter is three so this one is still a struggle for us. I am constantly telling her to keep her hands out of her mouth and away from her face so that she won’t get sick. She is getting much better at it, but it’s still tough some days. I am working on a reward system right now. She really wants me to paint her fingernails but I told her I would only do it if she keeps her hands out of her mouth for a week. Fingers crossed!
4.) Use PURELL® Multi Surface Disinfectant : My lifesaver, my new favorite disinfecting and cleaning product! I use this on a daily basis in my house. It kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria in 30 seconds including cold, flu, strep, salmonella, and yes, norovirus! It’s worry-free around kids, pets and food, and kills germs like bleach but without the harsh chemicals. There is no water rinse required since there are no harmful chemicals, and it’s great to use on surfaces you can’t wash easily like gym bags, car seats, and high chairs. We use it daily to wipe down counters, clean up spills, and wipe off things touched frequently like doorknobs, remote controls, and handles.
Unfortunately, sometimes our kids still get sick despite our best efforts, but it’s good to know that I have done everything in my power at home to help prevent the spread of those icky germs. I love knowing that I am using safe products for myself and my kids—even the furry one!