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Messes in the Car

Today I was really grateful for the extra change of clothes that I had stashed in the diaper bag for my 3 year old.

We were driving happily along to the Y for a spin class (my favorite exercise) after a happy morning at home. Out of the blue, my son says "My belly hurts", quickly followed by "I think I'm going to throw up." I was so shocked that I had trouble responding. Finally I managed to pull of the side of the road and catch most of the mess in a big plastic lid (I just happened to have 5 gallon tubs in the van, ready for a consignment sale).

Yuck. I was 15 minutes from the house, in the middle of nowhere with puke all over my crying son. :( In case it ever happens to you, here's the best action plan I could think of:
  1. Remove clean toys and books from the area. Put dirty toys and books on the ground.
  2. Wipe down the child with baby wipes and kleenex (or whatever you have in the car)
  3. Take the child out of the carseat, and take off his soiled clothes (leaving them on the ground).
  4. Redress the child and fasten him into another seatbelt. (I just happened to have an extra booster seat in the car, so that was convenient)
  5. Comfort the child with soft words, a CD, or a movie (I just happened to have our portable DVD player in the car, so that was a lifesaver!!)
  6. Wipe down the infected area with napkins/wipes as much as possible and put all soiled clothes, toys, books... into a bag/box.
  7. I couldn't find a hose to clean the lid at the house where we stopped (and no one was home), so I just had to turn it upside down and wipe it on the grass (not so lovely!), then we stopped by a store to rinse it off with their hose.
  8. Once home, I gave the car a thorough cleaning with rug cleaner and lysol.
So go stock your car:
  • an extra set of clothes for your kiddos - you never know when you'll need them - from spilled milk (2 weeks ago at a restaurant) to a puddle of water at the end of the slide (last fall) to a potty training accident (last week).
  • napkins, rags, or paper towels to clean up messes
  • a plastic bag - for whatever!
You might be very glad you took the time to do it!!


Christy said…
Oh, I'm so sorry. I've been there, too. My little one got car sick and upchucked all over herself after the kids and I were 30 minutes into a 7-hour trip. The saving grace was that because it was cold outside, she had a blanket over her lap. Luckily, the blanket caught most of it. I did have to strip her down and change her clothes in the freezing cold, though. Poor thing. And like you, I was lucky to have a bag to put all the soiled items in and put them in the bed of the truck (instead of inside with us for 6 hours!).
Anonymous said…
I keep a dozen (or so) cloth diapers in the van for moments like this. They are super absorbent and can not only be used for the aftermath of an incident like this, but for the child to throw up in (if I'm quick enough to get it to them in time). I keep them clean and folded and in a ziploc bag between uses so that they don't attract the dirt, lint, etc. that gradually accumulates in my van.

So sorry to hear this happened - so amazed that you're able to turn it into help for others. What a blessing!
MommySecrets said…
Great idea on the cloth diapers! And the ziplock bag would also be a big help for clean up.

And I'm so glad that I was only 15 minutes from home, instead of on a 7-hour road trip like Christy!!

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