Though you can’t magically wish away a cold, there’s a lot you can do to speed your child’s recovery process and help them rest when they’re feeling under the weather.
Stay Home and Rest
If your child is old enough to go to school or has play dates planned, it might be best to take these tasks off the calendar until their symptoms have subsided. On one hand, letting kids stay at home gives their bodies the chance to combat disease and recuperate. It also prevents the spreading of illnesses to other kids and their families. Take note of your child’s symptoms. It’s essential to keep them out of school until necessary antibiotics fight off the bacteria if they’re displaying signs of highly common and transmutable diseases like strep throat or pink eye. It’s common practice to keep your child out of school until they’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Avoid strenuous physical activities but allow your children to do things that comfort them and spark their creativity. They can read or watch their favorite movies or complete puzzles and play board games with you.
If your child displays severe symptoms like refusal to drink, rash spreading, or continuous vomiting or their common symptoms persist (for instance, more than five days with a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), it’s time to go to the doctor.
Diet and Medicine
Hydration is the first step on the road to recovery. Our bodies don’t heal efficiently when they’re dehydrated. When your kids are under the weather, remember to give them frequent yet small amounts of fluid to promote hydration while avoiding an upset stomach. Opt for clear fluids, including water, broth, and sports drinks filled with electrolytes and low on added sugars. With a doctor’s guidance, increasing antioxidant and Vitamin C intake may also speed up the recovery process.
It can be tricky to adjust your child’s diet when they’re sick, especially if they’re experiencing indigestion and nausea. You might consider trying out the BRAT diet or a modified version that contains easy-to-digest, nutritious foods. Potatoes, grains, bananas, and soups can give your kids the carbohydrates, vitamins, and energy they need to kick a disease to the curb. Children’s multivitamins are also beneficial supplements that help them receive all essential nutrients.
Navigating pharmaceuticals is challenging, especially when it comes to your children. There are several regulations regarding their age, medicine dosage, and ingredients. For example, the CDC recommends parents and guardians never give aspirin to their kids and teens. The medication can lead to the development of Reye’s syndrome, which causes brain damage and liver problems.
It’s a good idea to start your search for the right medicine with your doctor, especially if your child has specific immunological conditions. Next, assess your child’s symptoms to determine what the medication should target. For example, there are several options for cough medicine for kids. When you’re debating brands, always check the label. Several medications include artificial inactive ingredients. However, some brands are Certified B Corporations that have committed to offering medicines with strictly clean ingredients and third-party verifications.
For children experiencing congestion and coughs, consider placing a humidifier in their rooms and elevating their heads. It will alleviate their discomfort and help loosen phlegm in the throat and nasal passages. You can also adjust the room temperature according to your child’s needs and preferences. You might add a fan to encourage air circulation or fill your child’s bed with extra blankets and stuffed animals. If your child has a sore throat, gargling with warm salt water can be soothing and remove mucus buildup.
Sanitizing your home will aid in your child’s recovery while helping the rest of your household stay healthy. As your child rests, they’re likely spending most of their time in bed, but they will use the bathroom, and you’ll use kitchenware to prep their food. Change their sheets and pillowcases regularly to kill bacteria, and wipe down counters, doorknobs, light switches, and faucets. If your child has the flu and is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, you’ll also have to prepare to clean toilets and wash clothes as necessary.
Children have many physical needs when they’re under the weather, but they also benefit from emotional support and reassurance. They want to be comforted by your presence and encouragement that everything will be alright. Reading with them, checking in with how they’re feeling throughout the day, and investing in their wellness will ease their stress even when they’re experiencing discomfort.