We have put boys at the childcare in the beginning of June when they were exactly 6 month old. I have heard from many parents how often children get sick at the childcare. I was dreading this period. Plus having twins means that both are sick at the same time. The first virus arrived 2 weeks after being at the childcare. They both got whizzing lungs, coughing, stuffy nose… all the usual things of a cold and flu. Thereafter it had happened every 3 weeks or so.. and now its much less. Because more bugs they come across, stronger their immune system becomes.
Before living all through this, I thought the only virus that can happen is the ‘Cold’ related. However in July, both got a tummy bug and that is where the worst started. They both got severe diarrhea. One of them recovered in 2 days, while the other one stayed at home almost a week, with diarrhea. This has become my nightmare virus. They got it several times in September again. When baby has a tummy bug, he/she looses stools very frequently and its very liquid, which means that you have to change everything child is wearing and its happens several times a day. After some time, it is really hard to keep hygiene at home. At some point I bought chlorine to clean everything at home, as I had a feeling that there were stools everywhere.
Treatment of diarrhea is not very difficult per se, but requires discipline and child which feels sick might not be cooperative. First of all lost of water, and Gasrolyt solution would help in rehydration. Hard boiled rice is also very handy. But again it was hard for me to make boys drink or eat something when they were sick.
No matter how I dislike when boys are sick with flue or tummy bug, I always try to remember how ‘privileged’ they and we are to live in this part of the world, where simply clean water is not a problem. According to the World Health Organisation ‘Diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of death among children under five globally.’ This study shows what are the main causes and how governments can help in decreasing these numbers. I can not stop thinking what would I do if I would not have had sufficient clean water when boys have tummy bug?
Healthcare system is really great in Belgium. We have a paediatrician who can be reached any time of a week. We choose one who has home practice and is located close to our place. This way we can reach him after working hours or during the weekends. Even if the paediatrician is not available for whatever reasons, one can go to the emergency room of any hospital in case needed and they will direct you to the children’s department.
So from dreading boys getting sick, I came to realise that this is going to be part of their bringing-up and instead to focus how lucky we are with where we live, and services we have, the resources we have and help there is available here… every time they are sick, I can’t stop of thinking of all the children who might be sick at the same time on the other side of the planet and might not have a minimum care they need to recover…as simple as clean water, warm arms of parents and cuddles…