Just two days after starting daycare, my daughter brought home the crud. Diarrhea. Smelly, running, non-stop diarrhea that turned diaper changing time into even more of a shit show. Poor, sick child — poor dad!
But that’s to be expected. Kids at daycare share toys together and roll around on the floor with each and grab, pull and touch each other all damn day long. But, in a way, this is a good thing.
When your baby is born, she comes out with this teeny tiny immune system that is ready to take on what the world has to offer … or so it thinks. A newborn’s immune system needs to build up in order to take on the task of healing. It’s like your scrawny ass in high school before you discovered weights. You didn’t just pop out of bed, flop on some Converse shoes and crank out a 500-pound deadlift. It takes work and skill and practice. The immune systems of children are very similar in nature. Picking up a bug at daycare now and then helps build the immune system so it can ward off later attacks from infections.
While the kids getting sick is a way of life, there’s nothing worse than having to take care of a sick child while you are sick, too … all because your child got you sick in the first place. There are some things we can do to help prevent the trap from taking over our lives and combat some of these things from rearing their ugly faces:
Wash your hands
Duh. This one is pretty simplistic. Yet you’d be surprised how many people actually don’t wash their hands with soap on the regular. A 2006 study from the American Society of Microbiology shows that while 97 percent of women and 92 percent of men claimed to be cleaning with soap, the real numbers were closer to 75 percent for females and just 58 percent of males. That’s gross. Do better, people.
Cut down on cuddles with sick child
Kids are cute. Babies are really cute. As a new parent, you’ll just want to eat those little cheeks up and squeeze the hell out of your adorable little one. Try to avoid the temptation to do just that when the kids are not 100 percent healthy. You don’t have to banish your sick child to the infirmary, but you should think twice about laying on a million kisses on the face of the child while he’s coughing up half a lung.
Sharing is NOT caring
Much like the limiting of cuddle time with a sick child, stepping back your kid’s toys is another good idea. And perhaps one of the most underrated tips here: be careful about sharing a spoon or a fork and eating after your kids. That’s a surefire way to buy everyone a one-way ticket to feverville.
Practice prevention/boost the immune system
You already know about the importance of eating well and working out regularly, right? The better shape you are in, the healthier your diet and exercise routine are, and the higher quality sleep you get, the better off you’ll be in the long-run to avoid getting sick altogether.
Disinfect the home
After you wash your hands, wash your house. Open some windows. Use a good disinfectant to kill the germs before they can even get started. Find the worst culprits of the house for germ infestation: the phone, toilet, remote control and doorknobs. Hit those things early and often while the kid is sick. Of course, you must also make sure you aren’t using some industrial-grade chemical that will end up poisoning the entire house, too. So, ensure the cleaner is safe to use around babies and/or kids, yet also meets the Environmental Protection Agency standard – usually this means carrying a registration number and displaying the word “disinfectant” on the labeling.
U can’t touch this
Some of the nastiest colds and bugs take pride in entering the body through the face – the nose, eyes and mouth, especially. So keep the hands away from the face as much as possible. This is a good rule of thumb to keep before, during and after a sick child episode.