By all means, I am not a doctor or a medical professional. If you have serious concerns about your child’s health, take them to a hospital right away to get an expert opinion.
These are my own tips, from my own judgement, and from my own experience with my two children.
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As a member of a family of four, I am well aware that when someone in our household is sick, we all eventually catch the same illness. However, there are ways to prevent the sickness from spreading.
Here I will talk about how to not spread germs and how to get your child back to good health. It can be hard to do when having young children in the home.
Germs can easily be transferred to any room of the house, onto toys, furniture, even food. It can become a stressful time for you and your family, but don’t feel alone – everyone goes through it!
During flu season the temperatures drop and the more people stay indoors, the more likely illnesses spread. Here are tips and tricks to properly take care of your child when they contract an illness and limit the spread of viruses in your home.
1. Give them a lot of fluids and bland foods.
Whether your child has a stomach bug or the everyday cold, fluids will help flush out their system and prevent the production of mucus.
When your child is sick, you don’t want to irritate their little bodies with sugary food or dairy. Feed them bland foods such as bananas, rice, apples (or apple sauce), and plain toast.
Instead of milk, give them water with lemon or Pedialyte (these freezer pops are great) to keep them hydrated specifically when they have diarrhea. Continue with a bland food diet until they can go to the washroom normally again.
2. Use a barf bucket.
To prevent the spread of germs you ultimately must keep your home clean and sterilized. I recommend using a barf bucket. Not your average cleaning bucket or garbage bucket. The reason being is that you can have it by your child’s side at all times, taking the stress out of scrubbing and cleaning up big messes.
They will associate ‘being sick’ with their bucket because their experience with it will be such an unpleasant one that they are likely to never forget to use it from then on. When your little one feels like their dinner is about to come up, they can grab their special bucket and use it right away.
The bucket is also great for travelling. I know that when we go on trips, my girls sometimes throw up due to sickness from long car rides. It really comes in handy no matter where you are.
3. Wash their little hands and give them warm baths frequently.
The key to preventing the spread of germs is frequent hand washing. Use a gentle soap and a moisturizer to prevent dry and cracked skin.
Constantly wiping after diarrhea can irritate your child’s tender skin. A warm bath with a calming bubble bath product like this one will help soothe them especially before bedtime so they can get a good night’s rest. Moreover, it will be gentle on their skin and the warm water will help them breathe better when they are all stuffed up.
If your child has a fever, a cool bath is great for bringing their body temperature back up to normal. Alternatively, lay them down and place a cool cloth on their forehead to keep them from getting too hot.
4. Change their bedding and clothing often.
It’s important to keep your child’s surroundings clean. Runny noses, sweating, and other flu like symptoms will spread onto clothing and bedding quickly. Try to change their sheets as often as you can.
Clean clothing is a must because they will be touching things around the house, so as long as their hands and clothes are clean, you will limit the spread of germs and prevent other family members from contracting the sickness.
5. Make sure they get a lot of rest.
Getting enough rest is most important for feeling better. Don’t stress about your child missing a day of school, just make sure that they can lay low without distractions.
Encourage low-key activities such as watching a movie, or listening to relaxing music. Keep a calm setting for them to be able to dose off easily. The more sleep they get, the faster they will recover.
You can make them a light caffeine-free chamomile tea in their cup or bottle before bed to help them sleep better. Vicks also helps to soothe your child and help them breathe better during rest. Apply it in the congested areas (chest and under the nose, feet, etc).
As a parent and as a mother, I like to think that I know what is best for my child. Sometimes parents worry too much, other times we have instincts telling us that something just doesn’t seem right. In that case, it’s okay to get another opinion.
If your child has a prolonged fever, persistent diarrhea, a whooping cough, or any other symptoms that are concerning, definitely take your child in to be assessed by a medical professional.
I hope that this helps you and your family during flu season, relieves your stress as a parent, and keeps your home a happy and healthy one.
What do you find is most effective when your child is sick or has the flu? Leave your experiences and what works for you in the comments below.