I can never decide if it is better for all four kids to be sick at once, or for them to get it one after the other? For the last few days it has been one in all in, as all four of our kids got sick with a nasty viral chest infection.
Being a virus there is not much we can do about it except wait it out. While we are waiting we try and help their bodies fight it off as best we can, and try to keep our sanity at the same time. Here’s how we attempt to do that!
Ways We Cope With Sick Kids
Drink! Drink! Drink!
We always try to make sure our kids are drinking lots when they are sick but sometimes it is not easy to get a kid who is feeling miserable to keep on top of their fluid intake. If my lot are reluctant to drink I often mix up ‘special drinks’ which usually consist of water with a squeeze of lemon, some crushed ice, a slice of lemon on the side and a straw, something a little fun! We also try to keep a water bottle of sippy cup next to them all the time, and make homemade icy-poles to tempt them.
One of my girls shuts up shop completely when she is unwell. She won’t drink or eat and feels a hundred times worse because of it. So along with the getting her to keep drinking I try to encourage her to keep nibbling on something small too. A little bowl of dry biscuits/crackers, dried fruit, cereal, pita chips, grapes etc right next to her as a constant reminder is helpful.
We have discovered the magic of a heat pack. A little wheat bag warmed in the microwave can make all the aches and pains go away, at least for a little while. I’ve made up some hand sized wheat bags which are just the right size for sore ears or throats.
Make time to Snuggle
Running around after a bunch of sick kids, or juggling one sick child while you try to get everyone else to activities etc, can be hard work, but when my kids are sick often the one thing they want is someone to be with them. So making time to sit and hold their hand, or rub their back, or just snuggle on the couch can make the world of difference.
Bath or a Shower
Ideally a deep warm bath would be what I’d suggest for my kids when they have a head cold or a chest infection, but right now we don’t have a bath (yet) so a hot shower is the next best thing provided they are steady on their feet.
In Bed Activities
If our kids are really really miserably sick then we let them watch TV in our bed, or make a bed on the couch so they can watch a DVD. But even when they are sick, hours of TV isn’t really their thing so I am always armed with some other ‘in bed activities’ that they can do. Reading or being read to is always on the list, but audio books (here are some links to our favourite free downloadable audio books) also fill my kid’s insatiable love of books.
When they are on the mend, up and about, but not quite better and I really don’t want them rushing around like hooligans I give them a list of quiet activities to choose from. Things like – drawing, water colour painting, journaling, making books and writing stories, imaginative play set ups, or a little playdough.
I am sure the ipad and ipod were invented for when kids have to hang out in a waiting room or are sick or injured. These are the times when we relax our i-device limits and let the kids play and take their mind off feeling miserable. Here’s a few of our favourite apps –
How do you cope when your kids are sick?
I’d love to hear all your best tips and words of wisdom.
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