Katie Bryson lives through the family sickness epidemic. Her advice? Batten down the hatches and get into survival mode

Having small children is an open invitation for germs to have a non-stop party at your house – and there are definitely no canapés or cocktails involved.

Once one of the family has started throwing up, it’s just a matter of time before it sweeps through you all, so get prepared FAST. You haven’t lived as a parent until you’re vomiting side-by-side with your offspring. So believe me, you’ll want to have all the essentials ready to go.

What you need

Round up as many bowls as possible. This will free up the toilet if you don’t have more than one. Remember that scene in Bridesmaids where they’re trying on dresses and a bout of food poisoning kicks in… yep that.

Washing up bowls, buckets, plastic bins (wicker would be a disaster obvs) even an oversized plastic salad bowl will do but you might find that off-putting next time you’re tossing up a caesar salad for a BBQ side.

Towels to protect bedding and carpets – especially if it’s a nasty projectile exorcist-style episode.

Keep a jug of iced water nearby, along with a flannel/baby wipes for mopping of clammy brows and a toothbrush and toothpaste for freshening up that unpleasant sick breath.


Screen time limits are lifted until further notice. iPads a-go-go, wall to wall Cbeebies and rolling Netflix box sets with the volume cranked up to drown out the retching and distract you all from the horror.


No one will feel like eating or drinking, but it’s super important that little ones don’t dehydrate. Set an egg timer every 20 minutes and encourage them to take little sips of water, those brightly coloured non-fizzy sports energy drinks are a winner, and if they can manage it a few nibbles of plain dry toast.

Clean up operation

The last thing you want is for a resurgence of this armageddon, so get busy with the bleach, anti bacterial spray and wipes. Wipe everything down that gets touched a lot like light switches, door handles, TV remotes, iPad screens, phones…

I’ll warn you now, you’ll probably be so crazed by this point that you become rather obsessive, following your sick child everywhere they go wiping anything they touch. Don’t worry it’ll pass!

And finally finish with a flourish of air freshener – the house will really start to reek. Throw open the windows and break out the reed diffusers for the one and only stylish touch in this whole sorry affair.

Everyone will say sorry a lot. In fact no one will have any energy at all so it’s quite mellow as people are either asleep, vomiting or looking helpless on the sofa unable to speak.

Get well soon xxx

@mushmums @cookingkt