Category Archives: Health

Stomach Bug Supplies

Stomach Bug Strikes Again: Is Your Pantry Stocked to Handle a Stomach Bug?

Winter can be terrible for illnesses.  With a school-aged child, it seems like we contract something every other week: ear infections, pink-eye , the common cold, and of course, strep throat.

In January 2013 I read that a “Ferrari” type of stomach bug was making the rounds.  When I saw the story I chuckled.  That bug originated back in December, and I know this because I’m convinced it started at our house!  Yours truly was never sicker.  I was so weak and ill that we had to call in my mother-in-law to take care of the kids.

Anyway, after having the Ferrari of stomach bugs in December, I assumed that I was exempt from getting the stomach bug again.  Wrong.  It started again in March with the school-aged child who only had it for a day.  Then it spread to our two-year old.  Poor little one was sick for 5 days.  Of course, yours truly came down with it, too.  I cannot tell you how relieved I was to find all of the items I needed in our pantry.  We had everything from Gatorade to Saltines, Pedialyte and Pedialyte pops, and boxes of chicken noodle soup.

Is your pantry stocked?

Since the stomach bug can arrive at any time of year, make sure your household is ready.  Here’s your assignment:

Create a “Stomach Bug” section in your pantry.  Stock it with items that will help you get through the rough times.

Bland, easy to digest foods:

  • Crackers (preferably Saltines) (1 box)
  • Chicken noodle soup (one box  per person)
  • White Rice
  • Applesauce (unsweetened)
  • Gelatin

Clear Liquids

  • Gatorade (2 for each adult in the house)
  • Pedialyte (1 container per child)
  • Pedialyte pops (put 1/2 box in freezer today; keep one full box in your pantry)
  • Ginger Ale (to settle stomach) (small cans, or 6 pack of bottles)

Household Supplies:

  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Toilet Paper (At least four rolls.)  This is not the time you want to run out. 🙂
  • Disposable cleaning gloves – for cleaning up after family members
  • A mask (if you plan to clean up and cannot handle the odor)
  • Hand soap

Does grape juice prevent the stomach flu?

When I told a friend of mine that our child came down with the stomach bug, she immediately told me to drink grape juice.  Apparently grape juice can prevent the stomach bug if you haven’t already caught it.  I never heard of this, but did find that a few people posted their success stories online.  I was desperate not to come down with the stomach flu, so I tried it.  Guess what.  It worked!  I didn’t get the stomach bug.  I was also careful to wash my hands often.  If you’re going to try the grape juice, the key is to drink it before you come down with the stomach bug.  If you’ve already contracted the flu, you won’t want to drink that dark purple juice.  If will only make you sicker, and make for a messier clean-up.  Sorry for the gory details. 🙂  From my own experience, cranberry juice also works.

Printable Stomach Bug Supplies Sign

Once you have purchased your supplies, be sure to create a separate area to store them.  You can even print the following sign to hang on your pantry shelf.  By labeling the items, you will be able to find them easily.  It will also make it clear that these items are not for everyday use.

Stomach Bug Supplies

Stomach Bug Supplies – Sign

Let’s hope that the stomach bug stays away from your household.  If not, at least you’ll be prepared!

Need more ideas?  Be sure to read these articles which have more tips, checklists and printables:

Medicine and Illness Tracker small

Medicine and Illness Tracker

Cold Virus Supplies - Sign

Are you ready for the cold virus season?

printable grocery list by department

Grocery List by Department – Make Grocery Shopping Easy and Efficient

Are you ready for the cold virus season?

Cold viruses are more common in the fall and winter seasons, when people tend to congregate indoors.  Are you ready?  Here are some helpful tips on getting your household prepared.

Preparing for the cold virus

When a cold strikes someone in your household, you won’t want to run out to the store.  Preparing ahead of time can save you a trip to the store, when you’re not feeling well.  Consider setting up a bin or a shelf in your pantry with your cold supplies.  Here are some general supplies you may want to keep on hand:

  • Tissues
  • Cough medicine
  • Cough drops or hard candy
  • Fever reducer (ibuprofen or Acetaminophen)
  • Humidifier
  • Hand sanitizer (to prevent spreading to other household members)
  • Disinfecting wipes (to clean door handles, counters, and surfaces)

Things to drink (plenty of fluids)

  • Popsicles
  • Juices, water, Gatorade
  • Pedialyte drink and pedialyte popsicles
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Herbal tea
  • Vitamin C

We’ve included a printable checklist for you to track your cold virus supplies.  Just click on the link below to print:

Cold Virus Supplies Checklist

Cold Virus Supplies Checklist

Once you have all of your cold virus supplies, plan to keep them together in your pantry or supply closet.  We’ve included a special sign you can print to label your supplies.  If your supplies are clearly labeled, you’ll find it easier not to dip into them for everyday use.  They will be labeled clearly and will be available when you need them.

Cold Virus Supplies - Sign

Cold Virus Supplies – Sign

Stay well. 🙂

Here are some additional articles you may find helpful:

Stomach Bug Strikes Again: Is Your Pantry Stocked to Handle a Stomach Bug?

Preparing Your Household for a Medical Emergency

Can you name all of the medicine you take?

 

Medicine and Illness Tracker

From time to time, we all get sick.  In many cases, we may have to help out members of our household who are sick.  Keeping track of the initial symptoms and medications taken can be a challenge.  Check out our Medicine and Illness Tracker, which can help you log the details.

How to Use the Medicine and Illness Tracker

Start by writing down the name of the person who is sick. Next, jot down a brief description of the initial symptoms, along with the date and time.

For example:  Billy

Monday, 2/11 – Started with the stomach bug at 7:00 p.m.  Last meal prior to getting sick was peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 5:00 p.m.

Use the rest of the chart to keep track of what happens.  Include things like:

    • Temperature
  • Medicines administered
  • Meals eaten

Let’s continue with our example:

  • 2/11    8:30 a.m.  Vomited
  • 2/11    9:15 a.m.  Vomited
  • 2/12    4:00 a.m.  Vomited
  • 2/12    8:00 a.m.  Started sips of ginger ale
  • 2/12  12:30 p.m.  Fever of 101.7;
  • 2/12  12:40 p.m.  Ate 1 club cracker;
  • 2/12  12:45 p.m.  Acetaminophen (per doctor every 4 hours as needed)
  • 2/12    1:30 p.m.  Temperature 100.3
  • 2/12    2:30 p.m.  Temperature 99.3
  • 2/12    4:00 p.m.  Ate 3 Club Crackers

This chart makes it simple to take a look and see when the person was last sick, what time you gave the medicine, and how the fever responded to the medicine.

Printable Medicine and Illness Tracker

Below is a printable Medicine and Illness Tracker for you to print and use:

Medicine and Illness Tracker

Stay well everyone. 🙂

 

Here are a few additional articles you may enjoy:

Stomach Bug Strikes Again: Is Your Pantry Stocked to Handle a Stomach Bug?

Preparing Your Household for a Medical Emergency

Can you name all of the medicine you take?

Are you ready for the cold virus season?

 

 

Tips on cleaning a humidifier

It’s time to clean your humidifier.  If someone in your house is prone to croup cough, you’ll want to have your humidifier ready to go.  Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning.

Cleaning the Water Tank of Humidifier

We have a cool mist humidifier.  To clean it, we put about one gallon of water in the humidifier’s water tank, and add one teaspoon of disinfecting bleach.  Next, put the cap on and shake it around every few minutes to clean the tank. When finished, rinse with water until the bleach smell is gone.

Cleaning the Water Tray of Humidifier

We clean the bottom part of the humidifier with undiluted white vinegar.  Just fill the water tray with vinegar and let it sit for 20 minutes.  Next, we drain the tray, and wipe with a soft cloth.  When finished, rinse it with water until the vinegar smell is no longer there.

Helpful tips

Are you having a difficult time cleaning the humidifier?  Q-tips can be helpful to reach those small, hard-to-reach areas.  Be sure to clean the spout of the humidifier, where the vapors exit the machine.

We use a baby bottle brush to clean the shaft of the vaporizer.  The brush is made out of foam, and can reach all the way down the spout.  We add a little vinegar to the foam brush, just to sanitize and remove any germs.

The bottom line is if you are having a hard time cleaning something, you’re not using the right tools. 🙂

Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  We can’t stress this enough.

Happy cleaning!

Here are a few additional articles you may enjoy:

Fall Cleaning Checklists

Bleach: What you need to know about the new concentrated formula

Are you ready for the cold virus?

Stomach Bug Strikes Again: Is Your Pantry Stocked to Handle a Stomach Bug?

Printable Phone Number List

Preparing Your Household for a Medical Emergency

Are you prepared for a medical emergency at your home?  A medical emergency can happen at any time, to anyone.  You don’t have to be elderly or chronically ill to  encounter this issue.  A medical crisis can occur with young children, teenagers, or middle-aged individuals. Here are a few things to consider so that your household is prepared.

Note: This information was compiled from my own personal experience.  I’m not a medical professional or a doctor.  This is simply information for you to consider as you prepare your household for a potential medical emergency.

Items to Prepare for a Medical Emergency

1. First Aid Kit –  It’s always helpful to have a First Aid Kit in your home.  It contains items like bandages, tape, and first aid cream.  You can make your own kit, or purchase one from a store.  Either way, it’s great to have in your home.  We also carry one in each car.

2. Phone Numbers – If a medical emergency occurs, you’ll want to have your phone numbers ready and easy to access.  We post ours on the fridge, and they list our relatives, neighbors and friends, as well as important numbers we may need.  Here is a blank printable phone number chart for you to use:

Phone Numbers

3.  Medication Wallet Card – You will want to have a list of medications for each person in your household.  Include the name, dosage, and time normally taken.

Medication Wallet Card

4. Your plan of action – Once you call 911, and help has arrived, you will want to make sure you have a plan in place.  Here are some things to consider:

  • If you have young children, who will you contact to watch them?
  • If you have pets, is there someone who can take care of them?  If time allows, feed them and let them outside before you leave for the hospital.
  • Do you have any other special requirements?

5. Hospital Bag – Even if you don’t anticipate a medical emergency, it is extremely helpful to have a bag packed.  When a crisis strikes, it is important to stay calm.  However, it may be difficult to concentrate.  That’s why preparing a small bag ahead of time can be very helpful.

  • Phone numbers – doctors, relatives, neighbors and friends
  • List of Medications
  • Non-Perishable snacks (for example: granola bars)
  • Reading material / book

When it’s time to leave, you can add the following items to your bag on your way out:

  • Cell phone charger
  • Bottle of water
  • Piece of fruit – banana or apple

Turn a light on, in case you’re gone for a while.  Lock the doors to your home, and drive safely.

We hope that you and your family stay healthy and safe.  However, should a medical emergency arise, you will be more prepared.

You may also find these articles helpful:

Can you name all of the medicine you take?

Money Saving Tip on Your Drinking Water