I have been anxiously anticipating a round of stomach virus to hit our house based on what my friends from our school and other schools in the metro area are reporting on Facebook.
Much like the local weatherman, the status reports on Facebook tell parents what viruses are in the area and which ones of their friends’ kids they should be currently avoiding.
My neighbor told me this morning at the bus stop that her son had been throwing up all night. She’s not on Facebook so she didn’t know it’s been all the buzz.
I told her all my friends on Facebook have been reporting that their kids have it.
How long does it last she asked? Does it have a fever?
I told her no one had written anything about a fever, just that it lasts for days and was passing from child to child. Also told her to be careful with dehydration. One of our friends reported a hospital visit for IVs because her child had become so dehydrated.
I posted yesterday that Theresa Walsh Giarrusso “is baby with strep.”
And friends chimed in that strep was going around their area too. (Walsh had it last week. So it’s going around our house for sure.)
Besides sharing symptoms and diagnosis on Facebook, parents offer each other lots of condolences and support. Lots of “hang in theres” and with the throw-up virus, lots of “that’s disgusting” or “poor (fill-in name of parent here.)” It’s like a large 3-way call with your buddies when you’re covered in puke or diarrhea.
Facebook isn’t just useful for diagnosing illness and getting cyber-pats-on-the-back for dealing with them, it’s also great for baby advice. I participated last week in a discussion with a high school friend and many of her current friends as she was contemplating Ferberizing her baby. The messages were heated as that topic always seems to ignite a fury.
Another friend was trying to determine why her baby wasn’t sleeping. Way too many friends advising to dope the baby with Benadryl as far as I’m concerned.
Another high school friend was looking for dietary advice — what’s a normal amount for a kid to eat. She was marveling at the tape worms in her kids’ bellies. (All agreed must be growth spurts.)
Another friend was just trying to figure out what to say to her child that called her the “maid” this week.
Do you find Facebook useful in figuring out which illnesses will be coming to a home near you? Do you use it to get a cyber-pat-on-the-back when facing tough parenting times? Do you ever use it to help solve your parenting dilemmas? Do you weigh in with parenting advice for those who ask? ( You know I do!)