It’s a common problem for parents with more than one child. When one sibling gets sick, the other quickly gets sick too. Fellow parents, tell me about it! We’ve been through literally every sickness – the pink eye, the stomach bug, hand foot mouth disease. So now, I’ve grown to be more paranoid about staying clean to stop those germs from spreading between siblings.
While it’s impossible to avoid getting sick especially if someone is contagious in the same household, there are some things that we can do as parents to stop the germs from spreading between siblings.
- Number one rule is to get your kids to wash their hands. I cannot emphasize this enough. From the time my kids can start to comprehend things, I have instilled in them the importance of washing hands. We wash our hands after we come back from daycare. We wash our hands before meals. We wash our hands after meals. We also sing our ABCs while washing hands to make sure that the process is thorough.
- Clean toys. While it’s impossible to clean every single toy in the house, I would suggest keeping majority of the toys when one kid is sick so that there is less for you to clean. Make sure to use a disinfecting wipe or an alcohol wipe to ensure that bacteria and viruses are killed.
- Do not share food or drinks. If your family is anything like my family, we share food all the time. My youngest would always steal food from her sister when she’s not looking. Be firm about this and explain that there is no sharing allowed. As parents, sometimes we are also tempted to “save” the leftovers by eating them, but it is perfectly ok to throw away uneaten food in this case.
- Consider quarantine. While not all families have the ability to do this if there is simply no where in the house to quarantine the sick child, you can easily set up a makeshift tent for the sick child to spend majority of her time in there. Make this a fun process so it doesn’t seem like it’s imprisonment.
- Teach our kids how to cough and sneeze. I have my daycare teachers to thank for this because my eldest know to cover her mouth or sneeze/ cough into her elbow.
- Do not share the same hand towel. I am a little paranoid about this and I set out two hand towels in the bathroom. One for the sick child, and the other for the healthy child.
- Parents, exercise good habits too! As we make sure our kids are practicing good hygiene habits, we need to always remember to wash our hands too after handling the dirty tissues. As we are taking care of our sick child, we need to take care of ourselves too by eating well and getting enough rest.