Thursday, January 22, 2015

Coping with Sick Kids

We have had a little bout of the tummy bug in the house this week.

All parents know that sick kids mean a few things:

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Normal eating is suspended as the BRAT (bananas, rice applesauce and toast) diet is introduced slowly.  Regular naps are tossed aside as 'down time' and dozing is encouraged.  Having one sick child is hard enough, but having a whole gaggle of sick kiddos is something else entirely. In our house we really put an effort into keeping the germs from spreading. Here are some things that have worked for our family as we try to quarantine the sickies and cope as best we can.

1 - Hand towels in the bathroom are replaced with a roll of paper towels.

2-  We have a leather couch so we do allow the sickie to lay on the couch BUT, we put a sheet down and change that regularly. We encourage the sickie to stay in their room.

3- A little bleach is added to the family dishes being washed.

4 - Both parents help with the 'crisis' situations - when middle of the night problems arise one parent takes the sickie and the other takes the mess.  We use disposable rubber gloves and paper towels.  I know that seems excessive but it really makes it all so much 'doable' at 3am.  

5- For non-crisis middle of the night wakings one of us takes the first 'shift' and lets the other one sleep. About 3 or 4 am we switch shifts and the other one wakes up.

6- Another idea which we do NOT use but I think is a good idea, is having an old crib mattress or sleeping bag kept under the parents bed for the sick kids to just come crawl into/onto.  They are close by but not IN (and contaminating) the parent's bed.

7- Essential oils.  We use doTerra oils (this is not a sponsored post).  Peppermint is great for fevers and will calm headaches and upset tummies as well.  We use OnGuard blend for everyone.  Lavender is great for headaches and to just calm down upset kiddos.  You can diffuse the oils into the air for everyone to benefit or apply them topically.  I don't like giving the kids tylenol or motrin products unless the fevers are really high, so this lets me 'treat them' and shows them I really care.  Plus the oils actually work!

One thing many of us have a tendency to do is introduce fluids too fast.  We are worried about dehydration and should be, but when our kids are continually vomiting then we don't give them anything until they have stopped the vomiting.  We don't want them to down a 12 oz bottle of gatorade right after a vomiting session.  We let them sip water or suck on ice chips.  Once the vomiting stops they get a clear liquid diet for a few hours and then the BRAT diet. The American Academy of Pediatric recommends that kids resume a normal diet within 24 hours of getting sick.  Once they can keep down the crackers or bananas we feed them what they are hungry for.

Also - don't be afraid to call the doctor.  Most offices have on-call nurses who can answer our questions without having to take the kids into the office. It also helps me to know what the more symptoms are that might require doctors care.

Thanks for stopping by and good health for you all!

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