‘Tis the season to be poorly (perhaps that explains Rudolph’s red nose?). With current weather changes and temperature drops underway, along come stuffy noses and barking coughs. My 4 month old just had his first dose of antibiotics and we have been wrestling the nebulizer for the past 24 hours.
Here are a few tips that I have learned over the past years with my eldest to ease things up – even just a bit – which can make all the difference when dealing with sick kids.
1. Be prepared. When you start noticing your little one coming down with something, don’t wait until symptoms are in full force to take action. By taking the necessary precautions early on, you can quicken the recovery time and make sure your sick child is as comfortable as possible.
2. If you don’t know, go – to the doctor, that is. Listen to your mom instincts and although it is not necessary to go with every runny nose, rather be safe than sorry.
3. When the plane loses oxygen the protocol is to assist yourself before assisting others. Same concept applies. It is easy to forget to eat properly or to get sufficient sleep (when you can) whilst your baby is ill but looking after your needs are, in turn, looking after theirs.
4. Prioritize other commitments – your sick child will always come first but life doesn’t go on hold in the meantime. Reschedule or delegate your prior arrangements accordingly.
5. Keep track of medicine administration by writing directly on the box or bottle. No one wants to deal with fidgety pieces of paper on the fridge that can get lost or damaged.
6. When things go viral, airborne illnesses can spread through the family like wildfire. Always wash hands thoroughly, use antibacterial wipes or hand rub and don’t let others hug or kiss the sick child. This is extremely difficult when you have other children but prevention is always better than cure.
7. Invest in the right equipment. Buy a digital thermometer (preferably with a backlight) that is able to give an accurate reading within a few seconds. There are even infrared brands that don’t need to come in physical contact with your sick child. A nebulizer is also a worthy purchase to ease chest and nose congestion quickly and effectively.
8. Update your medicine cabinet regularly. Keep stock of age appropriate necessities such as a fever reducer, antiseptic creams and saline spray and be sure to make note of expiry dates.
9. There is no shame in asking for help. Hire a maid to assist with chores or ask your partner to take older siblings out for some time whilst you tend to your sickling.
10. Sometimes you just have to ride it out. Medications can make the process quicker but their little bodies need time to heal on their own. Give them lots of fluids and let them rest. No one ever said it was easy!