Two weeks ago I got an ubiquitous letter from my daughter’s school warning of a mini-epidemic of gastroenteritis going around. It listed the symptoms and how to keep it away (washing hands, etc) – okay, thanks. As if you can say that to a 6-year-old and expect them to remember to wash their hands in between the playground and lunch break! Unlike us Mums who have a keen awareness of germs and potential carriers (if I see someone coughing at the bank I immediately run for cover and whip out the antibacterial gel), kids just don’t notice these things and find it extremely difficult to stop touching things and (horrors) put their hands in their mouth.
Well, I did what I could. I gave them spiel about the germs and the hand washing, pumped them with vitamin C and hoped for the best. As fate would have it, on the night of baby Will’s 1st birthday party, Nat came to our bedroom at midnight and promptly vomited. It wasn’t too much birthday cake, cookies or lasagna as I hoped, because she couldn’t hold down anything for the next 24 hours. She then came down with a fever, had diarrhea, and for the next few days just lay on the sofa, totally miserable. Classic symptoms of gastro.
What’s worse is that we had planned a trip to Disneyland for their birthdays and it was just a few days away. And just as we were considering canceling the whole vacation, she got better. But then her brother got it, then the baby got it. And this was after I had lysol-ed my house like a madwoman! Luckily, the boys had a much, much milder version, and were pretty much their normal selves apart from a bit of runny tummies for a few days.
Now back from our great holiday (boy, did we narrowly miss disaster because of these school germs), my daughter came home from school today with ANOTHER letter, this time saying that there is a cold virus going around the school. HELP!!
Apparently, some schools and parents have taken the matter into their own hands, with things like the Germy Wormy and the Sniffle Sleeve. Good on them. Worth mentioning at the next PTA meeting I think.
Photo via Gotta Be Mobile