January 22, 2021
Cold and flu season might look a little different this year, but the prevalence of masks doesn’t mean that your child will avoid catching a cold altogether. Prepping your home for the inevitable stuffy nose, cough, and fever isn’t as challenging as it sounds, and it can make a massive difference when it comes to keeping your child comfortable and safe while they have the flu. Here are a few things you can do when preparing for child sick days.
An Ounce Of Prevention
Sick days might be inevitable, but parents can minimize the number of sick days their children have — and minimize the stress of sick days– with these preventive measures.
- Clean and sanitize your house regularly. Germs come in daily, especially if you and your child are in contact with other people. Sanitizing regularly-touched surfaces can keep outside germs to a minimum in your home.
- Wash bed linens once a week. Clean bed sheets lessen allergens and may help prevent infection from any lingering cold and flu viruses brought into the home.
- Teach your child good hygiene practices. You can introduce kids as young as toddlers to good handwashing practices. Teach your child to wash their hands before eating, after using the restroom, and after coming home from school, the playground, or the store.
- Keep an updated list of potential babysitters. In the cases of parents having to work, it’s good to have dependable babysitters on hand.
- Have a relative or friend on standby in case of a sick day during your workday. If a child becomes sick at school and you are unable to leave work, be sure that your child’s school has your permission to release your child to a dedicated adult who can bring them back to your home to care for them.
- Keep Key Contact Numbers On Your Fridge. Numbers like the family doctor, specialists, and emergency numbers give you easy access to help in the case of an emergency. It’s also a must for anyone who uses babysitters frequently.
Keep Your Medicine Cabinet Stocked
Rather than rushing out to the store at the first sign of a sniffle, have these medicine cabinet essentials on hand. They will help keep your child comfortable while they rest and recover.
- Age-appropriate cold and flu medicine
- Age-appropriate pain relief medicines
- Vicks (or store-brand) vapor rub
- Saline nasal spray
- Cough drops (only for older children)
- Humidifier for their room
- Petroleum jelly for chapped noses
- Heating pads
- Soothing bubble baths or bath soaks
Keep Your Pantry Stocked
Nourishing the body and keeping it comfortable is also an essential part of preparing for child sick days. No one wants to find a babysitter just to run to the store and grab some chicken soup, so it’s a good idea to have the following on hand during cold and flu season:
- Extra toilet paper
- Extra paper towels
- Chicken soup (or vegetarian soup alternative)
- Mild fruit juice, like apple or grape juice
- Mild tea, like chamomile
- Hand soap
- Hand sanitizer
Keep Your Doctor Informed About Your Child
If you plan on taking your child in for an emergency visit or visit to your family practice, you will want to have a detailed list of all the medications (both prescription and over the counter) that your child has had during their bout with this cold or flu. This will help medical professionals understand the severity of the virus and help them make sure that they do not overdose your child during treatment.
You might also want to keep a list of your child’s medications available for babysitters, visiting family members, and anyone else who might be looking after your child while you are away or at work.
Prepare (Or Buy) An Extra Pillow Or Two
Propping a congested child up while they sleep is a tried and true method of care. If your child does not have enough pillows to keep them well propped-up during sleep, buy some or prepare some spare pillows from elsewhere in your house.
Know When To Take Them In To See A Doctor
Hopefully, your mom magic, tissues, chicken soup, and a movie marathon will ensure your child makes it through their next cold with ease. But if your kiddo is looking worse for the wear after three days of sickness — or if your gut feeling tells you to — don’t hesitate to bring them to the doctor. If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that we’re better off safe than sorry!
I’m taking healthy preventative measures very seriously lately, as many of us are. Check out what I’ve been doing at my cedar park photography studio to ensure everyone who comes in for a photoshoot stays safe.