It was the first weekend in January, and little Leif just wasn’t acting like himself. The sun was shining bright, it was sixty degrees, and we had planned to be outdoors the entire day. The girls were playing with sidewalk chalk, Lennox was riding his scooter up and down the road, but Leif just laid in my arms with watery eyes, looking completely pitiful. I told Tom that I thought something was wrong, and literally within the hour, our sweet three-month-old had spiked a 102-degree fever and developed a deep cough. By the next day, his symptoms only progressed, he started to struggle to breathe, and after taking him to an emergency doctor appointment, we found out that he had picked up RSV–the first virus to infiltrate our house during 2019.
As a big family, viruses have the potential to spread fast and take us down for weeks. After trying to figure out where the sickness came from, we circled back to Lennox having mild flu-like symptoms right before Christmas break at his school. He had a persistent cough, a slight fever, and was able to shake it off in a few days…so we honestly didn’t think it was serious. One by one, throughout the first week of January, though, RSV began to pass on to Leif…then Luna…then Lela. With a lot of rest, disinfecting, and deep cleaning every room of the house, we were finally able to rid our house of the virus, but it was a brutal start to 2019, for sure!
Since cold and flu season tends to strike only once a year, it’s easy to forget the basic tips to minimize germ transmission; so, I’ve put together some helpful tips that we practice in our house this time of year:
- WASH HANDS! I can’t stress this one enough–wash your hands frequently, with warm water and soap, and make sure you’re washing them for at least 20 seconds (we like to sing the ABC song while we wash!)
- Cough into Elbows! This is one thing that is important to teach even the smallest coughers and sneezers: when you sneeze into the crook of your elbow, germs aren’t as easily spread by touch.
- Disinfect the Hotspots in your Home! Use a disinfectant approved to kill cold & flu viruses, like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, to wipe the surfaces touched most frequently, like doorknobs, light switches, faucets, and toys. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes kill 99.9% of germs including viruses that cause colds and flu, as well as Staph, E. Coli, Salmonella and Strep.
- Live a Healthy Lifestyle! The healthier you are, the easier it is to fight off germs. Eat right, exercise, and get a good night’s sleep (hey new mamas, this one is for you!) to help your body’s abilities to stay healthy.
This run-in with RSV was a huge reminder that with Lennox being in a traditional school setting now, it is SO important to make sure his classroom is just as clean as our home. We can do everything at home to keep a clean space, but if his school isn’t doing the same, viruses are definitely going to follow him home every day. So, as soon as classes resumed after the holidays, we made sure his teacher was restocked with a Teacher Appreciation Basket full of the essentials to keep her class healthy and clean: Clorox Disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, etc. With my sister being a teacher, I know firsthand how many supplies teachers have to pay for out-of-pocket and how quickly their classrooms go through them. I feel like every time I talk to her, she’s at the grocery store picking up more Clorox wipes! So, we wanted to make sure Lennox’s teacher had a mid-year resupply courtesy of our “not-so-little family”.
Clorox is an amazing supporter of teachers, as well, through their DonorsChoose.org site, which allows teachers across America to create projects and request resources students need in their classrooms. When I posted about it last August, I had SO many teachers personally reach out to me and thank me for calling attention to it; they pointed out that it’s SO vital for their classrooms, but a lot of people don’t know about it yet. Anyone can log on to the site to choose a project to fund, and when you donate, Clorox matches your donation dollar-for-dollar, which doubles the impact for classrooms in need. So, you can feel great about your purchase of Clorox products year-round: not only do they help to keep the flu out of your house, but the company is an amazing sponsor for our teachers and classrooms all across America. 🙂
To win one of our special “Cold and Flu Care Packages”- head over to my Instagram and share your family’s first sick day this year in the comments and how cleaning sets the stage for a healthy and happy season.
*This post was in paid collaboration with The Clorox Company.