Sickness in your child makes you feel worried. Especially this situation puts working parents in puzzle. They might get confused whether to ask for leave in the office or leave the child at the daycare. Does your child need to see a doctor? This article helps you deal with the sick child at home.
Sickness does not mean that child is not healthy. Rare sickness is a common sign of healthy children. It is very important for you to distinguish between various conditions in order to take care of your child properly.
This article focuses on the ways to treat a sick child at home. Scroll down to know tips to deal with sick child.
How to Take Care for a Sick Child at Home?
Here are a few things to do at home with a sick child.
1. Give your child some rest:
Studies suggest that sleep exerts a great influence on the functionality of immune system (R). Sickness makes your body hard to fight against the infections and it demands more energy than usual. Sleep on the other hand makes you strong that helps you to fight against the infections that cause sickness. A few drops of lavender in your baby’s bath before the bed may help to have better sleep and recover soon from the illness.
It is the best choice to rest the kid and offer some time off school.
2. Be Aware of Symptoms:
The foremost step to deal with the sick child is to know the symptoms. The symptoms are the key factors in deciding the further treatment. For example, cold and flu are the two different conditions that every parent should be aware of. A child with a cold may require the doctor visit. Both the bad cold and mild flu look alike.
3. Know what to treat at home:
It is more important to know what to treat at home and when to check with the doctor.
A mild cold and low temperature can be treated at home.
Any problems that are associated with indigestion can be treated at home by avoiding the irritants and following the home remedies for stomach pain in kids. Reach your doctor if the symptoms prevail even after the proper care and remedies.
4. Be cautious while using over the counter medicine:
Look for the few specifications on the package while using the OTC medicines for your kids.
- Minimum age mentioned on the pack for usage.
- The total dose that you can give and make sure that the dosage should not exceed the limit.
- If you are using more than one medicine, look on each pack for active ingredients in order to ensure that the medicines are not repeated.
- Prefer to use the medicines that treat the symptoms.
The most common OTC medicines that are used for the children are :
Multivitamins: They are not medicines. They are the supplements given to the kids. They can be used early in childhood and the type of the vitamin varies by age.
Fever Medicines: Medicines with ibuprofen and acetaminophen as active ingredients.
Cold, and Cough medicines: They contain medicines with active ingredients like guaifenesin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, and dextromethorphan.
Allergy medicines: FDA suggests that most of the symptoms associated with allergic reactions can be controlled by avoiding allergens.
Pain Medicines: It was long back stated in an article published on pain killers that ibuprofen works well for the kids with broken bones, bruises, and sprains (R)
Constipation Medicines: They include medicines with common ingredients like polyethylene glycol 3350, mineral oil, and others.
5. Keep your home clean:
Keep your home clean and free from irritants. Avoid smoking in front of your child and avoid the perfumes with strong smell. Postpone activities like painting and cleaning. The fumes associated with these activities may irritate your child’s throat and lungs.
6. Allow your child to get some sir:
Fresh air makes your child to feel better. Allow your child to relax in the chair in the backyard. Natural sunlight will help your child to feel refreshed and gives boost to their mood. If there is any room with a nice view of outdoors allow your child to rest in that room for sometime.
7. Keep your child active:
Don’t permit your child to the bed. Encourage your kids to play. This is the great way of distraction from the feeling of sickness. Plan for the games that do not require much physical activity. Some of the games of that kind include building blocks, puzzles, card, or board games. Follow the mind of your child on how long to play. Keep your child more entertained.
8. Listen to the inner voice of your child:
Ask your child about how he/she is feeling. The kids above the age of 5 years are usually good at explaining how they feel. Ask your child for the symptoms they experience and check with them whether they need any kind of comforting elements like water, blankets, quiet time for the nap etc.
9. Don’t be overprotective:
The most important thing that you must follow is don’t be over protective. Don’t try to limit the physical activity of the child unnecessarily. Follow the family routines the same way before your child became ill. Don’t frequently remind your kid that they are ill.
10. Avoid external disturbances:
A child with sickness is more like;y to get irritated and lose the patience out of their weakness. Keep your child away from any external disturbances. Reduce the screen time before bed time which may interfere with the proper sleep in your child. Keep your child’s room closed, if the external disturbances are too loud and uncontrollable.
11. Proper air cir circulation in the room:
Keep the doors in your kid’s room open for sometime. This facilitates the hot air in the room to go out and allows the fresh air to enter into the room. Make sure that the room is properly ventilated.
12. Speak to them about the illness:
This is one of the best ways to occupy a sick child at home. It is more important to speak to your child about the illness and provide the age appropriate information. Don’t speak to your child much about the illness. Make sure that your child does not listen the information shared by the doctor as they may begin to imagine worst if they did not understand doctor’s statements.
13. Care for yourself:
Mothers usually experience high levels of stress levels as they are the primary caregivers for their child. It may make you feel stressed, tired , and worn out from all the hard work. Make your partner to take care of the child for sometime so that you can get sometime to recharge your self. If you feel yourself good you can take care of your child in a better way.
14. Don’t hesitate to seek help:
If you and your partner are working, then check with your employer for leave or work from home option. You can seek the support of your child’s grandparents to take care of sick child. If your child is cared by the close family member, this leaves you in a state of peace when you are in workplace.
How To Comfort a Sick Child At Home ?
1. Provide Emotional Support:
Medicines alone can’t heal your baby’s illness. Emotional support is one of the best ways to treat a sick child at home. Make your child understand that you are there for them before undergoing through any kind of medicines. Spend more quality time with your child and sing songs, rhymes which will help to distract them. Cuddle and hold your child which helps them to feel less stressed, relaxed and secure.
2. Record your child’s temperature frequently:
Record your child’s temperature more frequently and give proper medication. Try giving cold compress and the remedies to reduce low fever. Do not use OTC medication if the fever prevails for more than 2-3 days.
3. Give proper feeding:
Sickness makes both adults and children to eat less. Lost of energy goes in fighting against the infections. So, it necessary to feed more nutritious food in order to meet energy demands of the body.
4. Offer the foods that are easy to digest:
Provide your child the foods that are rich in more nutritional and do not pose ant threat to their digestion system. Good foods during sickness include;
- Apple Sauce
- Cooked potatoes
- Salty crackers and cooked cereals
5. Give your child hot soups:
Hot soups are the great way to get relief from the sore throat and other symptoms associated with cold.
Soups can’t help your child to cure the sickness. Hot soups act as anti-inflammatory substances and help in get relief from the runny nose and sore throat.
6. Make your child to sleep in proper position:
Lying straight on the bed may even worse the symptoms of cold like breathing difficulty. Use the pillows to create a small platform and allow your child to place the head on the small platform so they lie on a inclined platform.
Doctor suggest that tapping the child’s back with cupped hands helps to get relief from the congestion.
7. Keep your baby hydrated:
General health problems like Fever, diarrhea, and vomiting may lead to dehydration in children. Under some rare conditions sweating or frequent urination may also cause dehydration in children.
Sometimes, dehydration may offer sore throat in your child and makes eating and drinking more difficult. Offer juices and electrolytes along with water.
8. Make your child to gargle with warm water:
It is suggested that common symptoms of cold like sore, itchy throat and respiratory infections are effectively treated by gargling with warm water. Add a pinch of salt to the warm water and allow your child to gargle with it for 2-3 times a day.
Salt water is effective in soothing your child’s throat and clears the nasal cavities. You can also combine this remedy along with nasal spray or home made saline solution.
Most of the ill conditions are associated with the sore throat. Humidifiers add the required level of moisture content to the air and help your child to get relief from sore throat.
Make sure to change the water in the humidifier frequently and wash it as per the set of instruction laid by its manufactures.
When to see doctor for sick child?
Here are a few sick conditions for which the emergency medical condition is required.
- Child with flu needs medical treatment within the first 24 hours.
- High or prolonged fever for more than 3 days.
- Difficulty in breathing
- Discoloration of the skin
- Your child do not drink sufficient water and may get dehydrated.
- If your child displays any changes in the mental status like sleeping for longer hours., not interacting, irritable etc.
- Body or muscle aches
- Sore throat and runny nose
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- An injury or burn that you can not treat at home.
In conclusion, dress your child in lightweight breathable clothes and ensure that they have plenty of rest and take plenty of fluids. Be aware of the symptoms, OTC medications and frequent communication with your doctor. Besides the medication the rejuvenating thing that children need all the time is emotional support from their parents.