Watching your little one struggle during an illness can be stressful for a parent. A sick child can be fussy, overtired and miserable, especially during cold and flu season. For many mild illnesses and viral infections, your child may have to stay home from school while you take the lead in their care. Here are some ways you can help your child feel better during their illness and get them on the road to recovery.
Assessing Their Symptoms
Parents can help their children recover and have a better outcome from their illness if they pay attention to their children’s symptoms when they aren’t feeling well. The most common illnesses during the fall and winter seasons are colds and the flu. Cold and flu signs and symptoms may include a fever, runny nose, body aches, chills, congestion, sore throat and cough. Be on the lookout for other illnesses that may look like the cold or the flu, such as strep throat or RSV.
Offer Some Relief
After consulting with your child’s pediatrician, you can offer some relief to help with symptoms. For fevers, you can try fever-reducing medication, tepid baths or cool compresses. Saline solution may help relieve some congestion. Sipping warm drinks with honey or rinsing with saltwater could soothe a sore throat. Check with the doctor to see what kind of cold medication is appropriate for your little one, or consider homeopathic cold remedies.
Prepare Nourishing Meals
It’s important for your child to keep up with their nutrition requirements during their illness. Parents can support their child’s growing body by preparing nourishing meals of foods that are gentle on the digestive system. Warm broth from chicken noodle soup is a great option. Offer plenty of fruit and vegetables and other healthy options. Avoid heavy fried foods, sugary treats or other high-calorie junk food.
Encourage Them To Stay Hydrated
Hydration is a key part of getting your child back to their healthiest. Some children may not drink as much when they don’t feel well, so parents have to keep encouraging them to stay hydrated. Water is the best option, or another clear drink that has a little bit of sweetness could also be a good substitute if your child isn’t interested in plain water.
Use a Humidifier
At night during an illness, some children may have trouble sleeping with a persistent cough. If you run a cool humidifier at night in your child’s room it may help keep their nasal passages more moisturized and lessen the effects of a cold or flu. This is one of the best natural ways to relieve coughs.
Let Them Rest
The last thing to prioritize when your child is sick is their rest. Resting and getting enough sleep allow your child’s immune system to fight nasty germs from a cold, the flu or another illness. Keep your child’s bedroom free from distractions like tablets, games and computers so they can get a restful night of sleep.
Help your child feel better and give yourself peace of mind with these tips. Your little one will be back to normal and ready to go in no time.