Parents know the only thing worse than getting sick yourself is when one of your kids gets sick (all of your kids getting sick at once is too frightful to even imagine). With little ones under the weather, parents are constantly trying to play catch-up in the fight against runny noses, sore throats and the oh-so-unwanted midnight arrival of -- you guessed it -- vomit. It’s a battle we’ll win eventually, but while we’re in the trenches … . Well, let’s just say that germs know how to fight dirty.
Since moms and dads only have so many hands to wipe, clean and coddle, we teamed up with Clorox to scope out the products every parent needs for a sick day. From the practical to the, um, unexpected, to the downright weird, these absurdly genius sick-day staples might be just what you need to ease the stress of sniffle patrol. (Here’s hoping you won’t need them anytime soon.)
1. The Sneeve
It’s no small triumph when a parent persuades his or her kid to cough and sneeze into an elbow rather than, say, another human being’s face. But all that snot makes for a whole lot of laundry, and we could all save ourselves some time (and some shirts) by opting for a disposable armband designed with little ones in mind. Enter the Sneeve, which its inventor claims kills 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria.
2. A Nosy Soap Dispenser
Image: Light in the Box
What better way to encourage the kids to keep clean than by installing a massive, snot-dripping shower gel dispenser? The kids will have some giggles, lather up and wash away all those pesky germs without thinking twice. And you will have a nose on your bathroom wall. Dare we say that this just might be crazy enough to work?
3. A Big Vomit-Catcher
Yes, we’re really wading into this subject. There are few things less pleasant (and more heart-wrenching) than when a child throws up on his- or herself. Parents want to help! And they also want to save the furniture! Unfortunately, wearable buckets don’t yet exist (dare to dream), so we found the next best thing: a haircut cape that captures any objects (or substances) that may fall from a little one’s mouth. Better yet, it’s enormous enough to fit directly over the kids and their car seats while you’re en route to the doctor.
4. … And A Little Vomit-Catcher
Wearable vomit-catchers not your thing? Keep things simple with a travel-sized bag the kids can keep by their sides anywhere they go. Sure, it requires some trust in their quick reflexes, but you can always keep an extra in your pocket to swoop in when the time is right.
5. … And, While You’re At It, A Remote-Controlled Platform To Carry A Bucket
Image: B&H Foto & Electronics Corp.
It’s sick-day parenting from the comfort of your couch! Take a remote-controlled platform on wheels that you can direct around the house, put an empty bucket on top of it and steer it around to follow in your little tummy-acher’s footsteps. Now you can let go of (almost) all of your worries about the living room carpet.
6. A Humidifier From A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Image: Hammacher Schlemmer
Why settle for an ordinary humidifier when you could have something so much more powerful (and, in all honesty, way more fun for everyone)? Whether your kids love galactical antiheroes or cute cartoons (or both!), there’s a humidifier out there that will put a smile on your little ones’ faces, even when they’re feeling all icky inside.
7. A Booger Glove
Little tykes aren’t the best at wiping their own noses, and we can’t expect them to be. So as parents, we’re constantly swooping in to clean up the drips and dribble -- and we’re using up a bunch of tissues in the process. Tired of tissues and snot-covered hands? This water-activated, microfiber glove with built-in soap might just be the Holy Grail for harried sick-day parents everywhere. Or, it’s just another mitten with soap on it. You be the judge.
8. A Nose-Picker
Image: Gadgets And Gizmos
You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can only help pick your kid’s nose so many times (and, more importantly, can only prevent him or her from picking and then wiping on the closest piece of fabric for so long). If you’ve got an older kid who has yet to shake his or her nose-picking habit, this gag gift could be the key to fresher sniffers (and, yes, lots of laughs). Hey, anything to brighten a sick day.
9. Dusting Slippers
Let’s face it: If the kids are going to be shuffling around at home in pajamas in between bouts of bed rest, we might as well put those little feet to good use. Parents, we present to you the dual-purpose slippers-slash-duster invention you never knew you needed. Enjoy.
10. A Cartoon Mask
If only there was a way to fend off your kids’ awful sick-germs while also showing them that you keep up with their interests. There is, and it’s this surgical mask that features your kids’ favorite characters. Know your audience!
11. A Precautionary Button
OK, surgical masks may be extreme, even when they’re graced with the faces of beloved animated characters. If you’re feeling less drastic, try a “Don’t Cough on Me” button. True, it might not be effective every time (read: ever), but it can’t hurt to try it out.
12. A Sickness-Stopping Onesie
Oh, what a parent would do to stop sickness in its tracks. Never again would the whole house fall ill; never again would the tissues run out all at once; never again would you face sleepless nights, impromptu doctors’ appointments and worries over the state of your children’s nostrils. We can’t help you there, but this onesie might serve as as good reminder to stop the spread of germs (assuming, of course, that the little one who’s under the weather can read ... and also chooses to heed the onesie’s advice).
13. A Plush Tissue Dispenser
One of the few things that makes sick days less awful for kids (and, let’s be honest, for adults, too): hugs. Lots of hugs. (Because face it, getting their germs is inevitable, anyway.) On top of all the loving squeezes, you can make their forays to the tissue box a lot more enjoyable by swapping that tissue box for a plush, huggable, giggle-inducing gnome tissue dispenser. (Just be sure to clean after use, lest you find yourself with a truly disgusting, booger-covered tissue gnome. You have been warned.)
In all seriousness, on a sick day, parents need all the help they can get. You can depend on Clorox disinfecting products to prevent the spread of germs (and sickness) by helping remove germs, bacteria and other nasties from your home, car and other places your little ones get their hands (a.k.a. spit and snot) on.