How to Take Care of a Sick Child
Having a sick child is definitely hard on everyone. Not only do you have to take a day off of work, but your poor child is miserable. When it comes to making your child comfortable, most parents (including me sometimes) are at a loss. Working in a daycare environment around sick children, I have learned some of the best ways to take care of a child while they are sick.
Diagnosing Your Child When They Are Sick
Before I even go into diagnosing your child I would like to say this disclaimer. Just because you check websites doesn't mean you are a doctor. The ONLY person that can diagnose your child correctly is a doctor. Especially if your child has a fever, go straight to the doctor or ER.
If your little one is complaining that something hurts, or they don't feel well, the first thing you should do is take their temperature. If your child has a low temperature, it is probably safe to just keep them home and monitor them. However, if their temperature is high, call the doctor and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
If your child doesn't have a fever but still is complaining, now is probably time to do some research on your own or consult a nurse practitioner. I discovered a great website to help see what potential problems. If you still aren't sure, most doctor offices have a helpline you can call.
Making Your Child Comfortable
One of the major things that a child needs while they are sick is to stay comfortable. Set them up on the couch or in their room under the covers (even though they will protest). Put on movies for them or bring some small activities. Make sure they stay in bed where they can rest and recuperate.
Make sure you monitor their temperature. If they have a fever, giving them medicine (make sure you follow the dosage) will really help keep the temperature down and make them more comfortable. They will sleep a lot during this time and let them. The body heals when they are sleeping so let them sleep as much as possible.
Also, during this time, make sure they drink plenty of liquids. You may have to carry them to the bathroom a lot because when children are very sick, they usually can't walk straight.
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What You Can Do To Help Your Child
Spend as much time with your child as you can while they are sick. Read stories to them, draw with them in bed, watch movies with them, and even let them stay in bed with you if possible. Since they will be feeling out of sorts and uncomfortable, they will cling to you.
Be patient with your child. Yes, they are going to whine. Yes, it's not the BEST way to get attention, but they are sick and they don't know how to cope with it (especially young children).
If they get too stuffed, stick them in a hot bath. The steam from the bath will help break up the congestion.
Above all else, give them lots of hugs, kisses, and love. They definitely need you and will love all the attention and cuddles.
Keeping yourself healthy when taking care of a sick child
Especially if your child can't take care of themselves, you are going to be in close contact with the child who is sick. If you can, wear gloves and a face mask to reduce the risk of germs spreading to you. Make sure that you sanitize items that your child comes in contact with so that the germs don't spread to anyone else in the house.
After you come in contact with the child, wash your hands up to your elbows so that you can get rid of any germs that may be on you. Taking preventative medicines may also help reduce the risk of you getting sick. Make sure you get lots of rest along with your child so that if your body gets any germs your body can fight them off.
Having your child home sick doesn't have to be a burden. Make sure they are comfortable and get a ton of rest. Give them the medicine and attention they need and they'll be back to their energetic selves in no time. Although, with the way my daughter is, bouncing all over the place and full of energy, being sick is the only time where I can keep up with her. I may wish for a few more sick days.