How To Keep Your Kids From Getting Sick

There’s nothing worse than being awakened by a still small voice saying, “Mommy, I don’t feel good.” Mostly because that voice is usually followed by a projectile body fluid and days of soggy tissues, stain remover and sleeplessness.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Follow these helpful tips, and you too can avoid certain couch fabric destruction.

1. Stay On High Alert

Peruse Facebook and other social media outlets for signs that kids in your area are fighting a “bug.” Contact your local health department and find out if any of those previously-eradicated diseases have come to your area. Sign up for health alerts from all of the 24-hour news networks, just in case there’s another outbreak of SARS (hey, it could happen).

2. Seal the Perimeter

Put all socializing and interacting with people on immediate lockdown. No children in and no children out. Germs can’t hitch a ride on Johnny’s dripping nose if Johnny’s not allowed inside your home.

3. Sanitize Everything

If you must leave the house, make sure germs cannot breach the perimeter. Use as many cart wipes as it takes to assure yourself that all of the germs leftover from the man with the hacking cough have been terminated. And make hand sanitizer available at all times—belt clip, keychain, cup holder, bathroom sink, kitchen table, tree house.

4. Never Touch Surfaces With Your Bare Hand

Bathroom door handles, toilet flushers, plastic utensils in an open cup and elevator buttons can all be handled safely with an extra paper towel or an extended shirt sleeve.

5. Realize Your Efforts are Futile

Once you have done everything humanly possible to create a germ-free environment, you will realize that those little germ carriers you call children will inevitably lick the shopping cart handle before you’ve sanitized it, drop their toothbrush in the toilet and continue using it and share a lollipop with the kid at the doctor’s office.

Just take a deep breath…and hold it. You don’t want to get sick, too. 


“I Trying”

It’s been a stifling, hot and humid summer in Central Texas. But last weekend, the heat succumbed to a small cold front that brought a breezy sigh of relief.

For my two-going-on-twelve-year-old, Ady, this weather meant one thing –time at the park. Her little round face and the soles of her tennis shoes lit up at the thought of walking down the street to the neighborhood playground. So, we packed up the wagon and our squirming two-month-old, and headed down the road with our slightly overweight dog panting behind us.

The playground is nothing special. It’s probably 30-years-old and desperately needs a paint job, but to Ady it’s a castle just for her. She bound through the dusty pebbles and conquered the stairs she’d been afraid to climb the last time the weather had been tolerable enough to play outside.

But as she made it to the highest point of the structure, she saw something greater to experience–the tunnel slide. With it’s height and lack of speed-regulating curves, the “big slide” was exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

“Go on, baby. You can do it. We’ll catch you,” we chanted from the opening at the end of the slide.

She peered down at us, alternating between smiling and looking like she was going to cry. She tried putting one leg down into the slide’s open mouth. No, too scary. Now, the other leg. No. still too scary. Then her arms and head. Nope. Not going to happen.

We repeated our encouraging words, but each time she attempted to go down the slide, she retreated back to the safety of the wooden platform. She trusted the structure. Even though her parents were telling her everything was going to be okay–she could do it; there was safety at the bottom of the slide–she still couldn’t make herself take the risk.

Each time she made an attempt and pulled herself back to security, she would say, “I trying.” She wanted to take the risk. She knew what she had to do to make it happen, but she was afraid.

Finally, my husband climbed up the playground equipment (in one step I might add – he’s 6’4”) and stood next to her. He picked her up, slid both legs into the open slide and gave her a little nudge. Down she went. Although the first few seconds were terrifying, there was nothing but pure joy and pride at the end of her wild ride.

“I did it, Mommy,” she said with a big smile.

This whole incident might seem ordinary. It seemed that way to me until days later when I was bringing my burdens to God. I was telling him that I was scared, that I knew what I had to do, but the risk seemed too great.

“I know I’m not there yet, Lord, but I’m trying.” There was that phrase again. I realized in that moment that I was looking at my Heavenly father through the tunnel slide. He was telling me that I could do it; that he would catch me. He wasn’t going to let me fall. But, I was clinging to my safe wooden platform.

It’s time for me to take a risk and let my Heavenly father be there to catch me. I just have to have faith that there’s joy and pride at the end of my tunnel.