Most kids will have too many colds to keep count by the time they reach school-age. As new parents, we were initially more concerned as to whether it could be something more sinister, but it usually wasn’t.
Nowadays, if our little one is under the weather, we keep an eye on his temperature, give him the necessary medicine and soothing treatments – usually just infant paracetamol and vapour rub.
But there’s also things to bear in mind too throughout the day when you have a sick child.
Keep Them Well Hydrated
Its difficult enough for myself as a full-grown adult to keep hydrated throughout the day so its sometimes easy to forget your little one needs prompting regularly too.
When unwell, drinking lots of fluids is always recommended. Of course, water is best, but who knows of a kid who loves drinking lots of water? When they’re under the weather, a mixture of fruit juice or milk is fine but plain water is best.
One trick I use on my kid is to play the ‘water game’. I fill up his bottle that usually has his name on it along the side and get myself a glass of water too. I then challenge him to see who can drink all the water up first, or I will simply ask him to see if he can get the water below a letter on his bottle.
It has worked really well so far!
When little ones are sick, they become more needy and whiny. Shower your little one with lots of attention and cuddles. Try make them smile and laugh to release some happy hormones. Let them stay in their PJs all day, give them some extra T.V time to chill out, read lots of books, play together with their favourite toys.
My 3 (nearly 4) year old can usually go without naps but when he’s coming down with something, I can tell he gets too tired to make it through the whole day without a nap. Yet he’s not one of those kids who will happily put his head down for one! He fights it with all he’s got.
This is when you have to resort to what you know works. When he was a baby, what use to make him wind down and have a nap? For my little one, getting in the car and going for a little drive usually does the trick. Or having lots of cuddles together on the sofa or bed.
Getting them down for a nap lets their body rest up and get healing.
Give Them Comfort Food
Give foods you know your little one will eat with ease.
Something plain like toast and jam. A cup of milk. He might want just chips for tea and you’re going to think that’s hardly going to do anything for him.
But the last thing you want to do when your kid has lost a bit of appetite is trying to force them to eat something ‘healthy’ or ‘nutritious’ (unless they want to) but mainly, trying to get them to eat more.
I’ve made this mistake in the past and constantly focused on what he hasn’t been eating. I have to stop myself and try to think about what he’s eaten throughout the whole week rather than what he’s had in one day as generally, the appetite returns soon.
Practise Good Hygiene
Teach your child to use a tissue whenever they have a runny nose rather than using their hands or sleeve to wipe it away and also to wash hands frequently when they come down with a cold.
Not only is this practising good hygiene by making sure the germs caught, binned and killed, but it also ensures that your child doesn’t spread the cold germs to his/her eyes too as children have a tendency to rub their eyes when they feel tired.
Our boy is prone to getting a sticky eye when he has a cold and it once turned into cellulitis because the infection wasn’t caught in time.
We now drill it into him to use a tissue and wash his hands whenever has a cold.
We now stock up on eyelid wipes and get eye drops for infected eyes when we notice the cold has potentially gone into his eye, just to be on the safe side.