Being sick is never fun, and it's even less fun for a child who may not fully understand what's going on. Taking care of a sick child can be tricky, but there are some ways to make it easier. Let's look at some tips for soothing sick kids so that everyone has a more manageable experience.
Take Them to Get Checked Out
One important part of soothing sick kids is taking them to the doctor to get checked out if their symptoms dictate doing so. Kids should go to the doctor if they're having trouble keeping liquids down, have a fever of above 103 degrees, or aren't getting better on their own after several days. Unfortunately, as much as 30% of the average doctor's bill is now out of pocket, so it's also important to keep a bit of saving on hand for such emergencies. You're the best judge of your kid's behavior, and you know when something isn't right, so be sure to make an appointment when it's needed. Many doctors and hospitals are willing to set up payment plans to accommodate low incomes.
Keep Them Hydrated
One of the most important ways to help your kids get well is to make sure that they stay hydrated. Dehydration only leads to additional medical complications, and can dramatically impede your child's healing. If they're having trouble keeping fluids down, consider using ice pops, or speak to your pediatrician about anti-nausea medication.
Make Sure They Take Their Medication
Children are notoriously bad about taking medication on their own, so don't leave this task up to them. Instead, carefully manage the meds and make sure that they're taking the correct dosages at the same time each day. For example, swimmer's ear typically clears up within 10 days, but a severe case can take much longer if the medications aren't taken on schedule. You can help your child get well faster by helping them take their medication as it's prescribed.
Allow Time for Rest
Rest is one of the most important parts of healing. Your child needs time to sleep, rest, and allow their body to heal. They may seem lethargic, sleep more, and not be as active as they typically are. This is all normal during most illnesses. Allow them to get more sleep with earlier bedtimes and more rest time during the day. This will help them heal faster. In fact, forcing them back into their normal schedule too soon may actually slow the rate at which they heal, extending the entire process more than you'd like.
Soothe Their Symptoms When Possible
When it's possible, treat the symptoms as well as the illness itself. Cold symptoms, for example, can last up to14 days and are very uncomfortable. You can make your child more comfortable by running a humidifier in their room, keeping them hydrated, and providing them with cough drops or cough medication in lollipops. Treating their symptoms can help improve their mood so that they're less cranky and more comfortable, and the average individual makes a full recovery from a cold within about ten days.
If your child is sick, everyone in the family knows about it. You can help keep them more comfortable by seeking out medical care when necessary, emphasizing rest and hydration, and managing their symptoms as well as possible at home. If you notice that they're not getting better with home treatment, you may need to reach out for additional medical attention. Contact your pediatrician or family doctor, describe their symptoms, and make an appointment for a sick child visit to get the care that you need.
Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.