September 18, 2014
9 Things to Clean When the Kids Get Sick
Sickness has been making its way through our house this week and while it seems pretty much impossible to stop, I thought I’d share a couple things that I do as soon as possible when someone gets sick in our house. Call it the Clean Mama ‘My Kids Are Sick’ Cleaning Routine.
Full disclosure: I am a little freaky when it comes to illness. I was much worse when I was a teacher, going into full-on internal panic if someone looked a little green. Being a mom has loosened my paranoia quite a bit, but I have a little routine that I put in effect when anyone comes down with something. When I say come down with something I am NOT talking about the sniffles or a little cold, I am talking fever, stomach flu, viruses, etc. I hope it goes without saying that of course I take care of my children before doing the things on this list. Usually I complete these when said sick child is sleeping or on the couch watching a movie.
- Change hand towels. Continue to change hand towels daily ( I do this as part of my routine, especially during cold and flu season) until everyone is better.
- Remind kiddos about the importance of hand washing – 30 seconds, sing happy birthday, wash past the wrist, etc. Practice what you preach and wash your hands frequently too.
- Give kids a small plastic bag (ages 4+ only for safety) for tissues – keep on the couch or wherever they are camped out so tissues aren’t strewn all over.
- Clean all bathrooms – if you only have a couple minutes, wipe down the sink handles and toilets. Here’s how I clean all my bathrooms in 15 minutes – a great method anytime, but especially effective when everyone comes down with something. When everyone is well, do a thorough cleaning of the bathrooms.
- I keep a plastic bucket in the garage and line it with a plastic bag for anyone that might not make it to the bathroom. Use plastic liners in garbage cans to contain the germs a bit as well.
- Use a cotton ball or cotton cosmetic cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and wipe any remotes/phones/video controls.
- Use a sanitizing wipe or rubbing alcohol pad to wipe down switches and switch plates, door handles, and the refrigerator handle.
- Wash bedding – I usually change pillow cases and leave the actual bedding until the sick child(ren) is/are better. Don’t forget to wash pillows, comforters, quilts, and throw blankets on the couch too.
- Soak toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide for about 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly in water. Replace toothbrushes when illness is over.
I’m always so thankful that I have a cleaning routine when something unexpected strikes – the house is tidy because I keep up with the daily tasks, so a couple days of not completing every task isn’t a big deal. Don’t ever fret about not completing a task for the day: a) it’ll be there later, b) it’s just cleaning, c) you can catch up on Friday or next week. And I’m always up for extra cuddles and snuggles from my babies.
Here’s a little idea for a sick kit – something simple to throw together and have on hand just in case.
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Well, I so needed this this week as I have a head cold and my son has the flu! Thank you for this!
This would make a great checklist for a sickness cleaning routine printable! Hint hint 😉
Becky SaysPost author
I’ll see what I can do 😉
I try to make sure I wipe down light switches, door handles, and stair railings too, since they are constantly being touched.
Well, this is timely! My guy just started preschool and it only took two days to get us all laid up with a nasty cold. Doing all of these immediately!
Hollie P Says
Yep,me 2.Cold season is here.
Thanks for this!
Very informative blog. Looking forward to read your further updates. Cheers!!
Claire Carroll Says
Great list. I include all the light switches and door knobs. I also have similar list for the office, we clean the office of the sick person, common space(copier, time clock, break area, ) and thing they usually touch – light switch, door knobs. It varies by employee.
Very informative article. Great job.
I do the same thing wipe everything down like you said… i to the phones too…. I use clorox or lysol wipes…. I also use them to wipe counters in the kitchen down after cooking, and also on the table. Everyday… I have 3 boys so it gets messy fast!
I am trying to get myself back into the groove. Everyone says my house is ridiculously clean but i can see 100 things needing attention. I work and am gone 40+ hrs a week. i have a 2 & 7 yr old i go in circles around them wears me out. The whole house is on me. I feel overwhelmed i am just having a hard time keeping it clean lately. I spend my entire day off cleaning and aggravated. I have to get some sort pf routine going. Thanks for pinning your tips.
Useful and used information!
I constantly remind people to wash their hands when they are ill to prevent spreading germs to others just by touching the door knob or something! Sanitary wipes and hand sanitizes are scattered everywhere with a one which is homed in my bag!
Something that works well and is easily disposed is an empty cereal box. Empty crumbs out of the waxed cereal bag, fold the box tops inside the box, fold the bag to the outside and secure with a little tape. It’s about as leakproof as you can get, and still be totally disposable.
As a dental hygienist, it’s important to look at toothpaste. My kids each use their own tube of toothpaste. This is often overlooked as a way to spread germs if everyone puts their toothbrush on the toothpaste tube. Usually just one of my kids gets an illness and doesn’t pass it on to others.
nicole snitselaar Says
i was going to say it 😉 When sickness strated, each had his tooth brush separated from the others and their own tooth paste !
There are only 3 of us, but I’ve decided to just keep this routine. Toothbrushes are kept separate and everyone has their own toothpaste. Flu is contagious before you know you have it, so it’s just become our normal.
Leslie Pfaff Says
Although my kids are grown, I learned to toss the toothbrush and replace the tooth paste. No one should share their toothpaste and we bought the smaller tubes for this reason. I would wipe down every door knob, every railing, light switch, handle and toss toys into washer or dishwasher.
Good advice, but trust me on the toothbrush and toothpaste…toss them
All good advice, but don’t rely on alcohol to decontaminate a surface, use pop up wipes that kill cold and flu viruses on EVERYTHING : drawer pulls, fridge handle, doorknobs, hairbrush handles, etc, etc….and yes, throw away toothbrushes afterward!
These all great. Another one I add is to change out the pillow case daily. As for toothbrushes, it grow them in the dishwasher. The goal is to keep the rest of the family well. Tis the cold and flu season
We use paper towels in the bathroom when someone is sick.
This is great tips, thanks. It can be never ending with kids getting sick and keeping house clean and sanitised. Some areas were often overlooked, now I know, I can do this.
I keep sand buckets just for tissue trash and/or vomit. It’s small so the kids can handle it themselves. We get the stomach bug at lease 3 times a year. Pure luck? It won’t take them long to learn to get sick on the sand bucket! Hope this helps someone!
Great post! Thank you! Very good ideas and the list is very thorough.
Thank you! This is such a great (and simple) list! My son is just getting over being sick and this is very helpful to remind me of a few things I’ve missed!