Flu Season is Here
Earlier this year I had the biggest scare of my life. A month after Fatima was born, Diari got the flu. I took her to the hospital and left Fatima home with my aunt who was visiting at the time. When we got to the hospital, the doctors ran a few tests and told me that Diari had the flu. But not only did she have the flu, she had two strains of the flu. She had already had her flu shot that year because I am a huge advocate of vaccines (conversation for another day).
Mind you, I was barely one-month postpartum at this point so I was losing it. I immediately started crying because all I could think about was the fact that Fatima was home. She was born really small so it was dangerous for her to be around germs. The doctors told me to make sure that my two kids stay apart. [HOW?] They suggested that I ask someone else to take care of one of the kids so that Fatima does not get infected.
I’m not gonna lie, I was terrified. They sent us home with gloves and all types of safety gear for Diari. She had to wear it all to keep her germs away from her sister. On top of that, they told me not to wear the same clothes to interact with them. So it was really draining because anytime I took care of Diari, I had to shower and change before I could feed or hold Fatima. Can you imagine?
I Thought I Was Prepared…
Like I said, I am a huge believer in vaccination and Diari gets vaccinated every year on time just to avoid things like this. I especially couldn’t take risks with a newborn in the house. This doesn’t mean that the vaccine doesn’t work, but sometimes a different strain can come along and lead to a child getting the flu. That’s what happened in Diari’s case.
Crazy enough, I know exactly the moment in time when Diari got the flu. The night she started getting sick was right after we went to an indoor play place for some mommy-and-me time. Since I had just had Fatima and Diari wasn’t used to being a big sister yet, I wanted to spend some alone time with her. I wanted to let her know that she was still my baby and nothing is going to change that.
Anyway, indoor play places are a great place for kids to have fun, but I personally do not recommend it during flu season. Because there are so many kids running around, it’s hard to maintain germs. Kids touch everything (if yours doesn’t, you have a miracle baby!). That makes it easy for them to come into contact with germs, which is why it’s good to limit how many they’re exposed to. I learned that lesson the hard way.
Flu Season Tips
So here are some of my tips to prepare your kids for the flu season and avoid my situation (along with some cute pictures of Fatima to lighten the mood!).
Definitely avoid places with a lot of kids playing. I know it’s hard because as the weather gets colder, we have to take kids to inside play places. Of course, it doesn’t mean your child is going to get the flu if you do go, but the chances are a lot higher.
Another thing we should be doing is making sure our kids are always fully covered. I always make sure they have long sleeves on even at night. Daycare can be cold even during winter so I send them to school with layers. Of course it’s good to layer in case they get hot so they can remove it, but it’s good to have sweaters, socks, scarves, and more especially during flu season.
*I always make sure that Diari has long sleeves on even inside of the daycare and I plan on doing the same for Fatima since this is going to be her first flu season.
The next thing I make sure I do is to clean the kids as soon as they get home. I don’t even let them stay in the clothes they came home from daycare with. We usually stop by the laundry room on our way into the house because it’s downstairs. I take off Diari’s clothes and we go straight to bath time.
Next, I recommend using tea tree oil during bath time. I just run a bath and I use 100% pure tea tree oil inside the tub to make sure that she stays really clean. I make sure they get a full wash down; that includes washing their hands and feet really well with soap Tea tree oil is great for killing bacteria when you use it in the bath. You can also use it as a body oil after they come out of the bath and then put on their pajamas before you go on about the rest of your evening. I found that giving them a bath before anything else has helped me a lot.
I also use essential oils to help purify the air. One thing you can do to make sure bacteria is not lurking around your house is to get a humidifier or a diffuser. You can fill them with some water then use essential oils like tea tree to purify the air. Some essential oils that I absolutely love during cold or flu season months are peppermint, lemongrass, and the tea tree oil I mentioned.
Lastly, keep an emergency care kit in your house that has a thermometer so that you can check your kids’ temperatures as soon as they start getting a fever. The fever is how I was able to realize that Diari was sick early on!
Have a Healthy Flu Season
It’s really hard when one of your kids get sick and you have more than one child to take care of. Most of the time when one kid gets sick the other one catches whatever their sister or brother has. So it’s really important to try to prevent it for all of their sake.