We’ve all been there. It’s 2am and the kids bang on the door…

by Rachel

Oh. No.

This is NOT the moment to run around the house looking for clean-up or “nesting” items for a sick child.

It’s survival mode. You have a sick kid.

You need a “sick bucket”!


We have a “sick bucket” that we keep in the top of our linen closet, right outside our bedroom door. It’s ready and waiting for the dreaded late night. So all we need to do is grab it and set up a “sick station”.

In January of 2011, we told you a little bit about our “sick set-up”, but the items to put in your sick bucket vary by family.


A vinyl tablecloth. It is flannel backed so it sticks to carpet and doesn’t move with a thrashing little body. Needed to protect surfaces.

Bottle of Gatorade or another electrolyte solution. We have it ready and waiting. The last thing you want is for your kids to become dehydrated and their sickness to become more serious. Make sure they are sipping between bouts.

Clean Sippy Cup. Even my older kids who are past the sippy cup phase, when they are sick they get to have a sippy. I think it makes them feel more comfy, they can lay down and drink, and I do not need to worry about spills.

Rags, Enzyme cleaner & grocery sacks. If they do miss the bucket, you have a rag available to clean up the mess. We use enzyme carpet cleaner (the kind marketed for dog accidents) to clean up our “issues”. The enzymes in the cleaner breakdown the lingering smells. We have grocery sacks to throw anything that needs to be laundered in, so we can either dispose of it or take it to the washer.

Tummy-friendly Snacks. We give kids who are sick a lick of peppermint sticks afterwards to help keep their glucose levels stable and to help remove the after-taste. We also have a pack of crackers, applesauce and a plastic spoon inside the bucket. I know if I keep them in the pantry the kids will eat them and we won’t have them when we need them. So a back-up stash stays in the bucket.

Probiotics. Often you van thwart a bad bug by giving your kids probiotics as soon as they start showing symptoms. We have capsules that you can pop open and put the powder into a sippy cup or applesauce or whatever.

Lastly, the bucket. Ours is red – you can’t forget what the bucket is for and/or not see it – sometimes bright is good.

Hopefully, this is a bucket that your family will rarely need, but if you ever do, it is sure nice to be prepared.

Stop by our FB page and let us know how you deal with kids & sickness.

Rachel is the founder of the blog, One Crazy House. She is the co-author of 101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! and The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and six children.