Every night, we pray with and over the Wee Allens.  Among the things we pray for and against, we pray that they will be healthy—that any virus or illness they come into contact with will be short-lived in their bodies.  If at that time they are battling sickness, we proclaim that by HIS stripes they are healed and that their bodies will be better by the time they wake up.

We have put this scripture under every mattress in the house:

The Lord will remove from you all sickness; and He will not put on you any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known…. (Deuteronomy 7:15)

Why this scripture?  It speaks directly to the immune system.  Our bodies are marvels, created by the One who set into being every living thing, including the viruses and bacteria that can make us sick.  He made our bodies to fight those things that we come into contact with on a daily basis.  Our immune systems “learn” from previous sicknesses and adapt accordingly.  When maintained and fed properly, those same bodies and immune systems are equipped to handle that strain of virus or bacteria again, barely affected by it for our lifespans.

Don’t be afraid to live life or take your kids places when the flu virus is rampant.  Use your best judgement with newborns and preemies, though.  They have special circumstances that may cause you to have to hole up for a few months while the flu virus has its way in the world around you.  Don’t feel guilty when people try to pull you out of your safe place.  You are protecting reasonably.

For the rest of us, cordoning off our kids and constantly dipping them in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers means we are essentially doing two things:

  • Turning bacteria/viruses into SUPER bacteria/viruses whose systems adapt as well
  • Not updating our children’s immune software

Yes.  Our immune systems are like software.  You get a cold.  Your body kicks into gear.  You rest.  You feed it good things.  You treat it right.  You recuperate.  And you become the upgraded version of yourself.

You 35.3

Being acutely sick every so often is actually a healthy thing.  Who knew?

Now, if you/your kids have allergies or chronic conditions, you must look into other methods of wellness.  Other methods include medical and holistic.  For now, I am going to talk to those moms of the average household.  Holistic moms and pharmaceutical moms, adjust accordingly.

All of the above being said, there are times when sickness ravages our house.  And we are COMPLETELY unprepared for the period of time that our bodies need to fend off the illness.

The last time a stomach virus hit our household, we had nothing in the pantry or medicine cabinet to accommodate our sick bodies.

NOTHING.

When my friends received a text from me asking for a few things from the grocery store, they knew I was desperate.  I am not very good at asking for help.  I was…at the least…badly indisposed.

Moms Can’t Have Sick Days.

False. 

I was VERY sick along with my precious wee ones.  I swore up and down that I would not be caught in the same predicament again without pantry stocked, medicine cabinet ready to go.

We live in a convenient society.

Moms, we have no excuse for being caught off guard.  Flu season comes every year without fail.  No excuse for bad planning.

Now that Flu Season is upon us and all of the germ incubators…{ahem} children…are cooped up in classrooms together breathing and re-breathing each other’s coodies, a mom needs to be prepared.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. – Someone Really Wise

 

PREVENTION TIPS

  • Make it a rule that everyone washes their hands when they come into the house from anywhere doing anything.
  • Soap is soap.  It doesn’t have to be antibacterial, it just has to be in contact long enough with the skin to do its job.  Sing the chorus to your favorite song twice while washing. Dry thoroughly.
  • A hand towel for each family member always and wash every couple of days.  I have a stack of fingertip towels for guests.  You can get disposable napkins for that use, if preferred.
  • Some swear by Airborne.  Others, a dose of Ester-C.  Other others, apples/oranges/grapefruit. Find what works for your family and make it a daily routine.
  • Hand sanitizer by the entryway/mudroom.
  • TRY to teach your kids not to put their hands in their eyes or mouth or on their faces.  It’s a hard habit to break.  But if they learn early, they’ll be a lot healthier over their lives.  I have a friend who doesn’t like hand sanitizer.  She says, “I don’t like the taste when I put my fingers in my mouth.”  Things that make you go “Hmmm.”
  • Flu shots.  Sure, it’s a crapshoot.  Sure, there’s a lot of bad press.  But, it’s a game of Roulette all the way around, isn’t it?  I remember the year (2002) that I didn’t “have time” to get a flu shot.  I had the flu TWICE that winter.  I haven’t missed a year since.  Eleven years later of annual flu shots, I’ve had the legitimate flu only twice.  Truth.

Even with all the prevention in the world, you’ll let down your guard for one infinitesimal moment.  BAM!  Baby brought home icky from the church nursery.  That’s why God gives you common sense to be prepared.

Look ahead, see a future need, and prepare for it.

Not a bunker.

Not a 3-year food supply.

Just a few staples to make life easier until your miraculous bodies are on the road to recovery.

We’ll call it The Sickness Readiness Kit.

1. Thermometer  

Digital ear thermometers are so much easier than any of the others.  Especially with infants and impatient, sick toddlers.  We’ve made it a game around here.  My girls get to take Mommy’s temperature too.  My favorite is BRAUN.

 

2.  Ibuprofen AND Acetaminophen

Get each, making sure you have age-appropriate formulas for everyone in the house.  The two can be alternated to bring a high, stubborn fever down because they work differently in the body.  Sometimes ibuprofen will work, other times acetaminophen.  It’s a case-by-case, person-by-person basis.  Once you figure out which one is doing the trick, discontinue use of the other for that sickness.  Don’t forget to keep good records of who took what and when.  You may want to invest in a fever-reducing suppository for when little ones can’t keep anything down.  High fevers are a priority in illness management.  According to most pediatricians, though, a low-grade fever (under 100 degrees Fahrenheit) should be left alone and monitored.  A fever is actually a good sign that the body is trying to fight off an infection.  For more information about dosage and alternating medications, see www.askdrsears.com.

 

3.  Cool mist humidifier and an extra filter

There are all kinds of humidifiers and most work well to get the job done.  Have an extra filter on hand should the current one look moldy.  You don’t want to add fuel to the fire by putting more sickness into the air.  Use distilled water.  It’s the only water that you can be sure is absolutely germ-/bacteria-free.

 

4.  A gallon of distilled water for each person

This can have so many uses in times of sickness:  water for the humidifier, neti pots and other sinus wash apparatuses, eye washes (pink-eye/conjunctivitis), wound cleansing, etc.

 

5.  Reusable gel cold compresses and an ice bag

While the reusable gel cold compresses are convenient and don’t require ice cubes, the old-fashioned screw top ice bags sit on the head a little easier.  Perfect for trying to reduce a raging fever in a hurry.  They are also safer for your little biters who like to explore with their teeth.

 

6.  Vaporizing chest rub

A formula that is age-appropriate for each member in the family.  Remember that infants require BABY chest rub that is formulated for their sensitive respiratory systems.  With small infants, rub it on the bottoms of their feet instead of the chest (until the age they start to put their feet into their mouths).

 

7.  FACIAL TISSUE

Most every household has a box or two lying around.  But, we all know that when every one in the house is oozing out of every orifice, one box doesn’t cut it.  So, hoard away a box for each family member just for the season.  Who wants to get out of their comfy bathrobe just to pick up tissue?

 

8.  Boxes of flavored gelatin and Pre-made

Why both?  Make it easy on yourself, Mom.  When it’s just the kids that are sick, you will have a little bit of time to make up the powdered stuff.  But, when YOU’RE the one wretching over the toilet in the middle of the night, you’ll be glad you bought the pre-made stuff too.

 

9.  Popsicles

They are soothing to sore throats and keep forever in the freezer.  I’ve bought popsicle molds and poured Pedialyte into them on occasion.  Two birds, one shot.

 

10.  Pedialyte

One bottle for every child in the house because it goes fast.  The minute you see that illness has hit, pop them in the fridge.  Nothing worse than room-temp Pedialyte.  Just ask your toddler.

 

11.  Saltines (or other tasteless, SALTY cracker)

They are absorbent and are fairly tasteless so as not to disturb the nauseated palate.  The saltiness helps to reduce dehydration.

 

12.  Sprite (or other mild carbonated beverage)

This is for you and your older children.  Again, the sodium helps reduce dehydration.  The carbonation eases queasiness.

 

13.  Tea for Brewing

For the adults and older children in the family, flu season is also tea season. It is very soothing and can relieve a variety of symptoms.  Everyone may have a preference, but most any hot tea will be comforting.  Here are the most popular teas specifically for flu and cold symptoms: chamomile (for relaxation), peppermint (mentholated to relieve congestion), licorice (for sore throat relief/cough suppressant), lemon (for extra vitamin C/clearing phlegm), ginger (for nausea/dizziness).

 

14.  Chicken Soup (canned or homemade)

Now, I gotta tell you…I HATE canned chicken soup.  Grant it, it does seem to taste better when you’re sick, but still….  It’s canned.  The fact that you’re looking at this list and actually contemplating putting together your Sickness Readiness Kit puts you ahead of the pack.  Why not make a few batches and freeze it for later use?  You may already have a slammin’ chicken soup recipe from your Great-Aunt Gertie.  If not, here’s my favorite noodle-less recipe from The Pioneer Woman’s (Ree Drummond) own blog: Chunky Chicken Soup.  Feel free to add rice or noodles.  Cook up a batch or two next weekend while you’re good and healthy.  Then, portion out one-cup portions into quart-size freezer bags.  Make sure to mark the date and consume within the next 6 months.  If you don’t have to use them for sickness, thaw them out at the end of the season and have a healthy, hearty soup for dinner with none of the fuss.  I hear it’s good for the soul.

 

Stock up on this Sickness Readiness Kit and you won’t be so stressed when illness comes knocking at your door.  In the meantime, pray for your family’s wellness and take preventative measures.  In the event that you have to use some of your supplies, just replenish them when the household is well again. 

Remember, sickness is not to be feared.  Symptoms are just to be managed while our bodies do what God created them to do.  

Anything that I missed or something additional that works for your family?  Write it in the comments below.

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