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How To Handle The Stomach Virus + Not Pass It Around

handling stomach virus

How To Handle The Stomach Virus + Not Pass It Around

The stomach virus. My worst nightmare. Literally.

I wish it didn’t exist. We have young kids too, so I’m always on the lookout during the fall/winter months when it peaks in schools and it seems like everyone has it. Which is actually right now. Right before Christmas or Thanksgiving, it never fails that the stomach virus fills my newsfeed on Facebook about all the sick kiddos.

I’ve taken care of my kids and husband through many stomach bugs. And I realized that I made a protocol to minimize the dreadful “passing it around”. It has been successful for the past 3 stomach bugs that have hit our family. YASSSS!!! We’ve even gone years without getting it, while others are getting it every month.

First I have to mention this: It really comes down to daily lifestyle and health habits. Every single day we work to build up our immune system to fight off bugs and to keep us healthy or we eat junk, don’t exercise, don’t take supplements if necessary, etc. Those daily healthy actions MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

And I think my OCD and hate for the stomach virus fuels the reason why I can stick through this strict protocol when it comes in our house. HAHA! Some of these steps I do to prevent the stomach virus from being passed around to others may seem extreme or weird or both, BUT I’m always SO thankful when weeks go by and it doesn’t get passed around.

I don’t have time to deal with puke and diarrhea for the next month – being real right now. I hate seeing my littles and my husband sick, so it’s worth it!

  1. In the first incident of vomiting, start paying attention. Take your child to the bath, wash them off, clean them up (remember everything you touch, shampoo bottle, light switches, bath knobs). Try to keep things you to touch to a very minimum.
  2. Wrap them up in a towel and place them on the couch (this is where I usually do it since our couches are easily wiped up + the floor is hardwood (also easy wipe up). If you don’t have a place that’s easily wiped up, lay towels everywhere and get them comfortable. 
  3. Get their “table” ready near them. I bring a very large bowl that has a plastic bag in it for quick discarding and you can put a new plastic bag in the bowl for each vomiting episode. I bring my essential oil box over with some almond oil to dilute the essential oils. I will usually dilute some peppermint essential oil and immune boost blend over their tummy and spine. I have some water, coconut water, some snacks (bananas, applesauce, dried cereal, plain almond flour crackers) there when they are feeling up to eating. I also bring a paper towel roll to help wipe up their mouth or anything else. I get them a blanket and pillow that is strictly for them. We usually stick to the living room and minimize moving around.
  4. I start diffusing my Plant Therapy Germ Destroyer blend near them. Open up a window for air circulation too!
  5. I do wear a face mask for active vomiting phases. I do have latex gloves that I try to use when using bleach and cleaning the surfaces.
  6. Make a bleach water bucket. (I RARELY use chemicals in the house, but the stomach virus will get me reaching for the worst of the worst chemicals aka bleach + I don’t feel guilty about it at all.) I go around with paper towels once the child is rested and set up and bleach what we have touched already. Everything from the tub, door knobs, light switches, bath knobs, counter tops, sink knobs, etc. You do NOT want to wait long to start cleaning because you’ll forget everything you’ve touched and/or someone will have already touched it. That begins the passing around process, which we don’t want. I will also start doing their dirty laundry in hot bleach water.
  7. After every episode, I change out the bags in their bucket. I use some paper towels and bleach bucket and wipe things down that I touched after each episode (everything from the tv remote, sink handles, trash can, etc.).
  8. Supplements that I give to the sick child AND to everyone else in the family: Probiotics, elderberry syrup, echinacea extract (I will drink echinacea tea throughout the day too), activated charcoal, digestive enzymes,  D3, vitamin C, Oregon grape root extract, ginger, and turmeric. I’ve given everything to the kids, except the digestive enzymes, ginger, and turmeric, since they can’t swallow pills yet. Here is the kid’s probiotic I love! I always make a meal with bone broth that day and add rice or GF noodles. We keep our meals super simple and easy digesting for all of us when we have a stomach virus in the house.
  9. Wash hands after EVERY encounter, always before you eat/preparing foods, and basically you’ll find yourself washing your hands 100x that day. BUT, washing hands is VITAL to prevent it from passing around. The whole reason that the stomach virus is spread so easily because it can lay on surfaces for up to two weeks and gets there from the sick person touching things or during an active vomiting phase little microbes will go in the air and settle down on a surface. I will wash my hands even simply touching their blanket or pillow. Hand sanitizer WILL NOT WORK WITH THE STOMACH VIRUS. You need to physically wash your hands to “wash the virus” off your hands.
  10. Minimize eating with your hands. After someone has been sick with a stomach virus, I find myself for the next couple weeks not eating with my hands. I will always use clean silverware for all my meals and snacks. Using a fork to eat a GF sandwich, yep. Getting the GF bread slice out of the bag, I use a paper towel to pick it up. It sounds crazy and OCD, but it works. Again, the main reason other people in the household fall ill to the stomach virus when someone has it because they pick up these small microbes on their hand from touching a surface that has been contaminated and literally putting the virus in their mouth. This is why schools and day cares are breeding grounds for this virus.

So, now you know my stomach virus protocol. It has kept me well for years and years after dealing with stomach bugs that our kids get. After reading all that, you might think I’m a little crazy and OCD, but you’ll thank me when it works. BUT, I can’t stress enough that choosing to do healthy things everyday make a big difference in your immune system.

Stay healthy this season! XO

Nuvitru Wellness uses a holistic approach to improve your diet and get lifestyle changes for overall health and well-being. We are a registered dietitians in Austin, Texas, and surrounding areas, ready to help. Get personalized guidance on meal plans and supplement protocols to help you reach your goals.

Avatar for Lahana Vigliano
Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).