The 4 Moms Fight Germs

and what we do when we lose.

I’ve got to say that life in a large, sick family can be quite trying.  I often think of the verse, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you fall into various trials, know that the testing of your faith produces patience, but let patience have her perfect work that you may be perfect and entire lacking nothing.”  and wonder why I’m not perfectly patient. I’ve certainly had some practice.  🙂

With 12 people in our household it can take a l-o-n-g time for a virus to run its course and while sometimes some family members don’t get sick, sometimes some of us will suffer through it twice.

Unfortunately illness is a fact of life in our fallen, sinful world.  We know that everything, including illness, is ordained by the God who loves us and is ultimately for our good and His glory.  For this reason we pray regularly for good health and long life for our family.  We also require our children to obey their parents that they may claim the promise associated with that command.

Of course there are also some material things that we can do.  In our house we figure that the best defense is a good offense and we do several things to try to prevent illness from arriving.  Many of the choices that we make for other reasons have the side benefit of decreasing illness.

  1. Because we homeschool and are members of a family integrated church, our kids aren’t often in large groups of age-segregated kids.
  2. We avoid processed food and don’t eat a lot of sugar.
  3. We eat mostly whole foods and lots of fruits and vegetables.
  4. We try to make sure everyone gets enough sleep.  Naps and early bedtimes reign in our house.
  5. During cold and flu season we often take Olive Leaf Extract before we head out into public.

When someone succumbs to an illness we take measures to prevent it’s spread.  I’m not claiming that these measures are completely effective, but every little bit helps, right?

Except in extreme circumstances we do not attempt to isolate the sick child.  That tactic simply doesn’t work at our house.   Inevitably after a day of reminding everyone to stay out of the sick room, reminding the sick child to please pkeep the door closed and comforting the sick and now lonely child, one of the little ones will sneak into the sick room and DRINK OUT OF THE SICK CHILD’S CUP!   Isolation doesn’t work very well for us.

We try to keep things extra clean.  We use antibacterial spray (usually vinegar) on light switches, door knobs and other things the sick children have come in contact with.  We run the dishwasher on the extra hot cycle and we run toothbrushes through the dishwasher everyday.

Everyone receives immune boosters (like olive leaf or echinacea), fresh air and lots of exercise.  We also use air and water filters.

We believe that God created our bodies to fight illness in the most efficient way possible, so when someone succumbs to an illness our goal is to support their body as it fights it off and comfort them as they get through it.

  1. We avoid antibiotics as much as possible.  I’m not a doctor, so don’t just listen to me, do your research and talk to your doctor, but there are a lot of things for which doctors routinely prescribe antibiotics that can safely be allowed to run their course (this article lists pros and cons of using antibiotics for ear infections) or treated by more natural means.  Antibiotic use is not risk free and trust me, the complications can be much worse than the illness that they are being used to treat.
  2. We don’t proactively give fever reducers or other medicines, but we will use them to keep children (and adults) more comfortable, especially if they are unable to sleep.
  3. We use chicken broth,  lemon and honey, ginger ale and other comfort and healing foods that are appropriate to the illness.
  4. We use a crib mattress on the floor for small children who are vomiting.  They can easily sleep next to mom and dad’s bed and it’s much easier to wash a small crib sheet as opposed to all the bedding on a twin sized bed.
  5. We use natural antivirals (like garlic).
  6. Sick kids get some special privileges. They get to spend the day listening to stories on CD, watching an occasional DVD and listening to lots of read alouds.  They also get lots of extra snuggling.

Be sure to visit the other moms of many to read how they wage war on germs.

KimC @ Life in a Shoe
Connie @ Smockity Frocks
Headmistress @ Commonroom

What tips do you have for preventing and treating illness?  I’m always open for suggestions.

Mark your calendars because on November 4th the 4 Moms will share ideas for home made Christmas gifts and crafts and we’ll ask you to link up your best ideas.

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18 Responses to The 4 Moms Fight Germs
  1. Melodie
    October 21, 2010 | 8:27 am

    Absolutely Love these tips! I have a crib mattress tucked away under our bed for just such an occasion as a sick child.
    We don’t go to doctors unless it’s an actual emergency and we don’t dish out tylenol like it candy.
    I agree with you completely that God created our bodies to fight off illness, they are glorious works of art made by our creator. I love your tactic of supporting the body while it fights the illness, and are writing down the natural supplements etc you use to do more research on. Very interesting stuff!

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  2. Smockity Frocks
    October 21, 2010 | 8:52 am

    We have the same problem with children seeming to be drawn to the sick child!

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  3. amanda hale
    October 21, 2010 | 9:52 am

    Do you use echinacea during pregnancy or breastfeeding? I just discovered it from Smoothie King after I had already had some. It seems to relieve my headache and I get migraines.

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  4. Nicki
    October 21, 2010 | 9:54 am

    We use most of your tips, and I also use vitamin D3 and C. You can get them in gummies, so this time of year I pass them out to all the kids. It really hepls the immune system. We also like herbal teas, like Sleepytime and Echinacea Complete Care. Sometimes we’ll even brew the tea and put it in a warm bath before bed. Oh, and essential oils are wonderful!

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    Twila Reply:

    Might I ask where you get your gummy vitamens? Do they have sugar or sugar substitutes in them? It’s hard to find “healthy” vitamens these days…IRONIC!
    Thanks for your consideration 🙂

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  5. Cheryl @ Treasures from a Shoebox
    October 21, 2010 | 10:24 am

    Some of our girls immediately morph into Clara Barton at the first sign of illness! They enjoy taking care of the sick and infirm (lol). The worst for us though is when several family members suffer with vomiting/diarrhea as there are 11 people in our house with only one bathroom. I hadn’t thought about the probability of spreading germs through toothbrushes. Thanks for the tips!

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  6. Gayle White
    October 21, 2010 | 11:43 am

    I find the steps you (and some of your other readers) take fascinating. We are the exact opposite. We have seven people and public schools with lots of germs. I take no precautions and am not known to sterlize anything (or be very tidy for that matter). We (knock on wood) rarely have an illness in our house. I think I am blessed with a family with tough immune systems. I guess letting them grow up around germs wasn’t such a bad idea afterall! 🙂

    (I didn’t know that about garlic….I eat tons so maybe that is what keeps me going).

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  7. Christy
    October 21, 2010 | 12:44 pm

    We do most of the same things. I try to “enlighten” every mom I know about ear infections (treating w/garlic & olive oil, waiting it out for 48 hrs, massage, avoiding antibiotics). We just started to use a crib mattress on the floor in our room for our co-sleeping baby (mostly for naps). Now I’ll have a better place for sick kids too.

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  8. Twila
    October 21, 2010 | 4:29 pm

    Your articles inspire me and are often accompanied with tears. You’re desire for righteousnes is contagious and I LONG to have a home like yours. I love hearing how your practicaly love one your kids…I want the same! Even your tips on health (which I’ve heard all before) OOOOZ with love. I could easily do everything you recomend but if I can’t do it in love…what’s the point?
    It would be a dream to have someone like you to talk to…I’d be on your doorstep daily! Well almost!
    Much love,
    Twila (homeschool Mamma of four)

    [Reply]

    Twila Reply:

    HA! too bad there isn’t spell check! OOPS. sorry for the blunders 🙂

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  9. twila mae
    October 21, 2010 | 5:26 pm

    love love love!

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  10. Ruth Ann
    October 21, 2010 | 8:49 pm

    Hooray, Hooray! I enjoy your blog so much and today you made my day, little sugar, garlic, honey, lemon, OLIVE LEAF!!!!!! You are my kind of person. I was diagnosed with bronchiaectasis several years ago and was told my immune system was just about gone,got turned onto the Olive Leaf and it has made such a difference. Hasn’t helped the disease,however it has helped my general being. Like your thoughts on all of this. Keep up the positive approach.

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  11. Courtney
    October 21, 2010 | 8:52 pm

    I really like the natural remedies I have found on PassionateHomemaking(dot)com site. I use four Thieves oil with my kids, rubbing it on their feet, and Garlic Oil in their ears when they are congested. I don’t know a ton about herbal remedies but I do know that if you use Echinacea for 6 days in a row you need to take 6 days off.

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  12. Janet
    October 21, 2010 | 9:13 pm

    I know there are mixed reviews on hand sanitizers..but…we have a bottle of it in our car organizer. It sits in the 1st bench seat, closest to the doo, everyone is required to get 1 squirt as the get into the van.
    If we travel, I take a small pack of disenfectant wipes and wipe all of the door knobs, phone, remote control, etc. before everyon enters the hotel room.

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  13. H-Mama @ Family Team
    October 21, 2010 | 10:54 pm

    You and I are on the same page in nutrition/health. Love it! 🙂

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  14. […] in my post on keeping our family healthy I mentioned that we use an air filter.   Today you have a  chance to win […]

  15. Stacy Sawyer
    October 23, 2010 | 7:09 am

    Our house has a constant mildew smell so I’d love for it to help with that!

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  16. Cindy Watson
    December 4, 2012 | 9:39 am

    “Throat coat ” is amazing tea, especially for actors and singers for whom the show must gone on..lead role!

    [Reply]

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