As a mom, watching my girls suffer through an illness is heartbreaking. Thankfully, now that they are older, we can usually get through it with communication and a few naps. But what about after your child is sick?
I’m sharing some of the cleaning tips I use to (hopefully) avoid anyone else getting sick. Truth be told, I’m not a great housekeeper, but I think it’s extra important to run through a cleaning during and after your child is sick. It’s the best way to keep everyone else healthy.
5 Things To Do After Your Child Is Sick
Wash all sheets, clothes, towels used by the ill person
The first thing I do when the kids are feeling better is change their bedding. I’m pretty lucky now that there is a lot less vomiting on bedding and floors – but I still do my best to wash everything in the bedroom that can be easily cleaned. Depending on the severity of the illness, you could do it like a lice cleanse and launder all the toys and pillows too.
My usual is to wash the bedding and pjs, and then empty hampers and get through all those clothes and recent towels (including common hand towels or washcloths.) I find illness a great motivator to get through my piles of laundry!
Wipe down common surfaces
This job can be done with Lysol style wipes, or a bleach and water mixture. You can also make your own disinfectant. Whatever you choose to use, make sure you get all the common surfaces in your home.
Kitchen and bathroom: faucets and taps, paper dispensers, handles of cupboards and refrigerator, and countertops. Make sure you toss all linens (towels, washcloths, etc.) in the hampers to be washed as well.
Other common surfaces: light switches, remote controls, doorknobs, handrails, dining room tables and chairs, and any hard plastic toys or other items your children share.
Air out the house
I love getting fresh air into the house. Even if it’s the dead of winter, I will open some windows (especially in the room of the sick person) to freshen up the place. I feel that fresh air really helps everyone feel better, and it makes me think the germs will be moved around by the air drafts!
Be sure to gather all dishware that may have been used by affected child(ren)
My girls like to have drinks and snacks in their room when they are sick. I try my very best to gather up everything after they are well again, but sometimes cups get missed. Make sure you collect every cup or bowl that may have been used in the sick room and get them washed up pronto. You don’t want you child to unthinkingly refill that water glass she used yesterday while she was unwell!
Restock the essentials for next time
If your kids are anything like mine, they only “snack” when they are feeling under the weather. We go through crackers and juice, and sometimes freezies, when the girls are unwell. On my next trip to the grocery store, I always restock whatever we used up during the illness. That includes pharmaceuticals as well as food: acetaminophen or ibuprofen, Gravol, pedialyte, whatever may have been depleted.
- Full vacuum of all soft surfaces (couch and chairs, mattresses, carpets etc.)
- Throw out toothbrushes and get fresh ones
- Use paper towels for cleaning instead of linens so you can just toss them out after
- Quarantine toys that can’t easily be cleaned
- Change your air filter in your furnace (I have never done this after an illness, but I’ve seen it suggested elsewhere.)
How do you do a cleanse after there’s been sickness in your home? I will admit I am not as diligent as I could be, but these tips are what I use routinely after there’s been an illness. Sometimes they work and no one else gets sick, other times we all come down with whatever it was. (I’m sure sometimes we all had it before symptoms showed in any of us…)