Parenting Tips: How To Look After Unwell Children

No one enjoys getting sick – and this is especially true for children. A common illness like a cold has the power to leave a young child miserable. It is the parent’s responsibility to help the child and to encourage a quick recovery. Luckily, there are plenty of resources about parenting for moms and dads who want advice on the best ways to help their children. Here are some helpful parenting tips for helping your children when they are feeling under the weather.

Advice for Dealing with an Ill Child

If the illness is something straightforward like a cold, the best approach is to treat them as normally as is reasonable. Try putting them on the sofa with blankets and pillows instead of confining them to their bed. It’s important to be sympathetic to your child and to not be too anxious –if you are worried, then your child will also pick up on the worry, so keeping calm will help your child relax. Keep their room airy and avoid overheating, as this will reduce the child’s discomfort. Do not smother them in blankets or too many layers – dress them in loose, comfortable clothing.

The best treatment for a cold is rest, so encourage them to sleep and to rest. Paracetamol or ibuprofen will also alleviate the cold symptoms and their discomfort – just follow the dosage instructions on the packet.

A whole day spent stuck on the sofa will feel like an eternity to a 5-year old with a cold! Put on some subdued background music or television to make them feel less alone. Don’t feel you have to stay by their side playing with them for hours at a time – it might just be enough for you to be in the same room keeping busy.

Food and Drink: What to Give to an Ill Child

Give the unwell child plenty of fluids – if your child is sweating or experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea, then he or she is at risk of dehydration. A hot drink made with lemon, honey, and water will help sore throats and provide vitamin C to boost their immune system. Giving them plenty of liquids is very important.

On the first few days of illness, don’t force the child to eat anything if they don’t want to. Soups, milk, and small snacks should be strongly encouraged, as they will give your child valuable nutrients without being too tough on their stomach. Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast can all help to alleviate an upset stomach. On the other hand, if the child is craving a particular food type, then let them eat it – within reason, of course! At the very least, getting their favourite food will cheer them up.

When to Ask for Help

Lastly, it goes without saying that if you think your child’s symptoms are getting worse, then you should take him or her to the doctor’s or call a doctor for advice.  If a fever gets above 40-41oC (104-105oF) then you should seek medical attention. If in doubt, always contact a doctor.

Hopefully, by providing the right atmosphere when illness strikes, your child’s recovery will be swift and they will be back at school in no time.