August 25, 2011

Throw Up... Continued

This is part two in a two-part series on vomit removal, lovingly written by my friend (and fellow foster mom) Mie. If you like this, you're bound to like her blog, so head on over there for some good stuff!

Clean-up, Clean-up, Everybody Clean-Up…

So what do you do if prevention doesn’t work? Have a baby who suddenly becomes ill in the car? Here are some quick-tips for clean-up.
  1. Don’t Panic, Stay Calm – Preventing the adrenaline from rushing through your body will help you maintain control of your own stomach. You’re going to need that. Plus, if your child is sick it helps when their parent isn’t freaking out about it. Or, if you’re lucky like me and have a behavioral challenge to deal with, keeping your cool and not reacting to the behavior with extra attention will help avoid reinforcing it.

  2. Remove The Chunks – If you’re at home, use disposable or bleachable towels to wipe the mess in to a disposable container (bag, trash can, etc.). If you’re in the car, use wipes and diaper sacks to get rid of as much of the solid/liquid material as possible. Make sure you pull over as quickly yet safely as you can – the less chance the mess has to sink in anywhere the better. Quick Tip#2: Use these wipes and these diaper sacks – keep them as a stash in your car and not only will you be prepared for a diaper blow-out, boogies, or any other mess but you’ll also help contain the lovely scent until you can get somewhere to throw the mess away.

  3. Clean Your Kid – If for some reason the Vomit Catcher didn’t work, hopefully you have a spare change of clothes in the car. Change the kiddo and put the clothes in another diaper sack. Wash the kiddo with the wipes to remove some of the yucky residue that may have seeped through the clothes.

  4. Clean the Car Seat (in car) – I’m going to assume your child was in a car seat and that is what you need to clean. Use club soda (or water, if you need to) and slowly pour onto the affected area enough to soak it. Concentrate on the straps and seating area. Dab/blot the club soda-soaked area with the dry towels, using a new dry area each blot, until the liquid is removed, repeating the use of club-soda and blotting until the vomit appears gone. Please note – it is not gone and you will need to do more later, but for right this minute this step will help prevent the mess from seeping in further or spreading all over the car. If you’re really zealous for clean, you should probably move straight to step 6, which means you’ll need to also have the Vomit Cleaner Mix on-hand. That doesn’t happen in our car but we’re ok with that. I’m assuming you didn’t get vomit anywhere else in the car – if you did you’ll need to make sure that is cleaned also, including disinfectant.

  5. Remove Odor - Generously sprinkle the wet area with baking soda. Rub it into the straps and the seat. If all of the baking soda is wet, sprinkle some more until you have some dry baking soda remaining on the area. If you have a child with sensitive skin or are concerned about the baking soda being in contact with his/her clothes, cover the seat with a hand towel and have your child sit on the towel. If you need to, put a towel or paper towel between the strap and your child to protect clothing – go for it. We don’t use the towel(s) here, but then again I’m not worried about my children’s clothes that much – I am too cheap to buy them expensive clothes so if they are damaged I’m not worried about it but remember baking soda is both edible and used in cleaning clothes and other surfaces without harming them so, I take the risk.

  6. Disinfect – As I pointed out, you may want to do this after step 4 – it’s just not always practical and not how we do it. There are two ways you can disinfect and it purely depends on your preferences:

    1. Machine Wash– This is what we usually do. It’s easier than other ways. We remove the car seat and wash the car seat cover using hot liquid, a tiny amount of bleach, and regular laundry detergent made by yours truly. Then, dry according to the cover instructions on the hottest temperature it can handle. While you’re waiting for the cycle to be done use your preferred disinfectant and wash/rinse the rest of the car seat, including the straps, the base, etc, so that when the car seat cover is done you can reassemble and put it back in your car. It takes a couple hours to do this, so it only works in our family because we have 7 car seats and 4 kids – we can switch out one of the spare car seats while the other is being washed. I’ll also caution you that the more you wash the car seat cover with the machine the more you’ll probably see wear and tear – that doesn’t bother us but might bother you.

    2. Hand Wash – In my research I found this site that provides a good hand-wash/rinse/disinfect process and the recipe for a Vomit Cleaner Mix that you can use if machine washing isn’t an option for you. The benefit is that most of the products recommended here are natural cleaners which is a plus when you’re working with your child’s car seat.

I sincerely hope that sharing my expertise with all of you has been helpful – really, because there HAS to be a reason why I clean up vomit daily. There just HAS to be.

Want to win your own Mobile Vomit Relief Kit with all of the items that Mie described in this post? I thought you might! All you have to do is share this post on Twitter or Facebook (it's super easy, just use the buttons at the top of the page) and then come back here and leave a comment to let me know you did. The winner will be drawn at random next week. And if its give aways you're looking for, I suggest you head over to Hip Homeschool Moms to see a full list of swag people are giving away! Ready, set, go!
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Mie is providing this kit, I am in no way being compensated for sharing her amazing talents with you, but aren't you so glad I did?

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