Help Your Child Recover Quickly This Flu Season
So, we had a sick week at our house. More like a week and a half. Bronchitis and two rounds of the stomach bug, fun! As you probably know, the most important things you can do when you are sick are rest, stay hydrated/nourished, and avoid germs. If you find it as difficult as I do to get your little one to settle down or cooperate in their healing process, keep reading for tips to help your child recover quickly from whatever they might pick up this flu season!
Get Lots of Rest
As I have mentioned before, my toddler is very active. Getting him to sit down for more than five minutes, even when he is sick, can be nearly impossible. With both of us being sick, I REALLY needed him to rest, for both our sakes. Luckily, he was only sick for two of those days (while I was sick before him, caught what he had on top of what I had, and then still winded up in the ER for my original illness, ugh). The first few days, I was feeling pretty crappy. By the third day, I was ready to call Jim to come home early–I was exhausted and using all of my energy to clean up throw up and comfort my sick little guy. How did we manage to get any rest? Lots of prayer, and fighters! What are fighters, you ask?
Make it Fun!
This has been one of my favorite learning moments so far because it was really cool seeing that my toddler was able to understand a tough concept in his own way. In order to teach him about how we heal, and convince him to aid in his own recovery, I came up with Fighters. You can alter this however you see fit for your child’s interests or understanding, but Fighters are essentially little tiny things that can’t be seen that help us to get better and fight away our sickness. They can come in many different ways–when we sleep, in certain foods we eat, in breastmilk (did you know breastmilk is considered a clear liquid and contains electrolytes?!), through medicine or vitamins… Basically, “fighters” is just a general term for all of the amazing things our bodies do naturally or with aid from what we provide them while we are sick!
We also happened to indulge in some screen time to help keep him in one spot while he was throwing up, and Magic School Bus (S1 E3) happened to show one of the characters being sick and white blood cells fighing off the bacteria. It aligned perfectly with what I had been telling my son all day, so I rolled with it! In the episode, the sick boy had to sleep as well as take medicine. I pointed out how important it is to get our rest and let the Fighters do their job to make us better, and I swear he didn’t fight nap time for the first time in months! I continued using Fighters as a learning tool, and explained to him that he needed to conserve his energy to help give them a boost (rather than having him run all over and continue getting sick). Rest is the number 1 way to help your child recover quickly!
Another huge way to help your child recover quickly is to keep them hydrated and getting the nutrients and vitamins they need. It can be really hard to get kids to eat when they are sick, especially if they can’t keep anything down, but it is important to make sure they aren’t getting dehydrated or missing out on nutrients that will help them heal. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Clear fluids: water, breastmilk, Pedialyte, soup broth
- Popsicles are a great alternative if they are having trouble keeping liquids down and need smaller amounts at a time (you can make your own breastmilk popsicles or buy Pedialyte ones as well)
- Smoothies packed with vitamins (especially Vitamin C) are great when throwing up isn’t an issue
- Load them up on superfoods and vitamin-packed fruits and veggies if their bellies can handle it
- I have recently read that the AAP is no longer supporting the BRAT Diet, but am still trying to verify that via their site
We talked again about Fighters when it came to food because my poor little guy, of course, wanted snacks and meals that his belly was just not ready for. It really helped him understand and make better choices!
Avoid Unnecessary Germs
I asked Jim to stay home one day when I was throwing up and could barely get out of bed. It had already been four days of sickness for me before that and I knew that there was no way I was going to get better if I didn’t get some rest of my own, and I’d keep getting worse. Sometimes the best thing you can do to help your child recover quickly is to make sure that there is someone capable of taking care of them without spreading even more germs. Not only did I need to rest and recover, I didn’t want to keep spreading the stomach flu back and forth. My son was feeling better by then and I was glad that he was able to hang out and play with his daddy when I would have been struggling just to keep him fed, changed, and away from throw up.
Later in the week, we rescheduled plans because the people we were meeting with had been sick. Help your child recover quickly by keeping them away from germs and avoiding situations involving sick people when you can help it, especially when their immune system is weak because they are sick or still on the mend! And make sure to clean and disinfect everything as you go so that you don’t keep recontaminating yourselves. Change the sheets and pillowcases, replace toothbrushes, clean the bathrooms, disinfect common surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, sink handles), and clean up any messes or germs that you notice from things like throwing up, coughing, sneezing, etc. One thing that has helped us immensely is that Jim decided to line our “throw up bucket” (aka plastic bowl) with a plastic bag for easier clean up. I know it is hard, especially when you are sick too, but you got this!
Don’t forget prayer! God absolutely still performs miracles of healing all the time. Make sure that you and your child are praying for yourselves and each other, and are asking others to pray for you! Pray together, pray separately, but just be sure to pray!
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. – James 5:15a
How Do You Help Your Child Recover Quickly When Sick?
I would love to hear any tips that you guys have! I have heard great things about using Elderberry syrup as a preventative measure, but I haven’t picked it up yet. I have also heard great things about immune boosting essential oils! Do you have any tricks to get your child to rest or stay hydrated when they are sick? Or for cleaning up the messes more easily? Drop a comment or shoot me an email, I would LOVE to hear from you!
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