It's a regular day, you've just taken your child from nursery and have just fixed him dinner, he's happy and content but suddenly he vomits his food all over the dining table! Could there be something wrong with the food? You wonder...or is it something worse...
The first thing you have to do at this moment is rule out anything more malicious than a stomach bug...if you're concerned take your child to a doctor and get him checked out.
Now you've heard there's a stomach bug going around the schools, after all the lady from next door hasn't been feeling well...what should you do?
1. PREPARE YOURSELF
This is going to be hard. It'll probably be harder for you the younger the child but it certainly won't be easy, prepare lots of clean towels, fresh air and plenty of hugs and kisses. Your child is going to feel awful and he will need your patience and love to get through it. Remember when you were pregnant...that first trimester...I think you know where I'm going with this...that nauseating feeling is what your child is feeling...that 'I'm too scared to move in case my stomach decides to go against me right now' feeling, or that 'I can't stand any kind of smells, get them all away from me before I hurl' feeling...You know how hard it is so try to go easy on him and not expect him to do the chores tonight or even homework.
2. THEY WON'T BE THEIR REGULAR MONKEY SELVES
A child that is feeling nauseated or has a stomach bug won't feel like climbing on top of the cabinets or scribbling on the walls, while this is a good break for you, it's nothing to worry about. He will be lethargic and sleepy and well just plain lazy and that's normal, your child needs plenty of rest while his body fights this bug, you need to give him space but keep an eye on him at all times.
Be mindful of fevers, always check your child, it's normal for him to develop a fever and it's you job at this point to manage it, Paracetamol is a great option not just for fevers but also general aches and pains that come with the stomach bug, don't keep him too warm and always make sure there is plenty of fresh air circulating around the room.
Don't try and force him to eat, I can't stress this enough. I made this mistake the last time my daughter had a stomach bug and it only made it worse, again try and remember what it felt like when you had morning sickness, how would you have liked it if someone force fed you food that you couldn't keep down. It isn't important for your child to be fed. It's only important for them to be hydrated, and that means giving them plenty of WATER, WATER, WATER. This, of course, doesn't mean you let them chug down a bottle at a time, try and give them small sips every few minutes so it doesn't irritate the stomach. If your child has just vomited then wait 15 minutes before you give them water, they will be thirsty but I assure you if you give them water straight away it'll just come back up. If they are refusing the water try diluting some juice and see if they'll take it.
Make sure you always wash your hands and your child's hands frequently, wash any areas that have vomit on them very well and with disinfectant, make sure that your child eats using their own spoons and keep other children away just in case they catch the bug. And a tip to remember is to remove any soft toys away from their bed, toys with vomit on them are very hard to clean!
Throughout this hard time don't forget yourself, it can be easy to completely forget your own needs but you can't pour from an empty cup, feed yourself well and get plenty of rest. You deserve it.