Caring for a Sick Child – Useful Tips for Parents
Sudden changes in the weather can make a child fall sick frequently. As the immune strength of children is low, they are pretty much the first to fall sick. Caring for a sick child is not as easy as it seems as your child will need quite some attention and love to be able to walk through this difficult time.
How to Take Care of Your Sick Child?
Sickness takes quite a toll on children. If your child is too young, he will probably not understand what is happening to him, why he is feeling so low and he may also not be able to convey it to you. Constant pain and fatigue can frustrate him. But worry not, as there are a few ways you can take care of your child sick.
Make Your Child Comfortable
One of the first steps that need to be taken is to instil the feeling of comfort and security back into the child, even in the midst of illness.
1. Adjust the Temperature
The weather can make the surrounding temperature outside and even within the room a little too cold to be comfortable for your kid. Make use of heaters to balance it, or wrap your child in a blanket or a sweater to bring back the cosy feeling. If your child is feeling hot instead, use a light fan to make him feel relaxed.
2. Maintain a Peaceful Setting
In the midst of the illness, any external disturbances or distractions can be quite unnerving for your child, when he might be craving for some inner peace. Keep him away from any sounds of the television or video games as such, and let him relax in silence. Close the windows if the outside sounds are too loud.
3. Provide Emotional Support
Before opting for any kind of medical treatment, make sure your child knows you are there for him. Spend time with your baby and sing his favourite songs to distract him. If your child is a little grown up, talk to him, read stories to him, or just cuddle him and sleep with him.
4. Opt for a Humidifier
Most illnesses around this time render the throat to be dry, the skin to be unhealthy, and make the air polluted. Having a humidifier in your child’s room can maintain optimal levels of water vapour in the air, reducing the frequency of your child’s coughing and throat irritation.
5. Elevate His Head
If your child is suffering from a cough or a cold, then lying down on the bed can aggravate the irritation making it difficult for him to breathe. Use a couple of pillows to create a small platform or incline and let your kid rest his head or upper body on it. This can make him lie down comfortably or even resort to reading a book if he wishes to.
Feeding Your Sick Child
When it comes to caring for a sick baby or even a child for that matter, a lot of energy is expended by the body in combating the infection. This makes it necessary to keep a proper diet throughout the illness so that the body has all the energy it needs.
1. Easy-to-digest Foods
Mostly your child won’t have the appetite to eat a proper meal when he is ill. This could be the result of illness or simply the absence of the mood to eat. Your child will also have trouble swallowing the foods. So, instead of making traditional foods at this time, opt for items that can be easily consumed and digested. Mashed potatoes, cereals, toasts, biscuits and simple foods can stimulate the digestion process and provide nutrients as well.
There’s a reason why soups are considered the go-to food when it comes to illnesses. Be it chicken soup or any kind of vegetable broth as well, the warmth of the soup along with the nutrients present in its preparation, work wonders in relieving the symptoms of cold or a cough. It also helps bring back the taste within the mouth.
Drinking a lot of water and other fluids have to be followed without fail, especially when ill. Dehydration could further aggravate the problem, making it difficult for your child. While sticking to the daily volume of water, don’t forget to slip in a nice juice or a ginger ale or even electrolytes, if your child is feeling weak.
Treating Your Child at Home
Once emotional care and energy supply have been established properly, it is time to crack down the root of the problem. If your child’s condition is not severe, you can take care of it right at home in the following ways.
1. Ventilation and Air Cleansing
Making sure the air in your child’s room keeps flowing is absolutely necessary. Blow out the air regularly and change the blankets and bedsheets so that the germs and microbes don’t stay persistent within the room. A fresh room can further reinvigorate your child as well.
2. Maintain an Irritant-Free Atmosphere
If a child is ill at home, keep your dusting and cleaning activities to a minimal. Wipe the floors with a wet cloth to avoid any dust in the air. Avoid smoking in the house. Keep any strong smelling air fresheners out of the way or don’t use any perfumes that smell strong as well.
3. Warm Water Gargling
If your child is suffering from a cough and cold, make sure he gargles with warm water. Gargling with warm water mixed with salt can help soothe your child’s throat as well as work towards opening up the nasal cavities. Combine this with a nasal spray or a homemade saline solution if needed.
4. Use Medication Carefully
If your child has a fever or a typical infection, you can choose to use a medicine you are well aware of. But double check the dosage and talk to your doctor if need be. Aspirin has to be kept away from children at all costs. Administering cough syrups is also not recommended for children under 4 years of age. Even ibuprofen should not be given to a child who is less than 25 weeks old.
5. Ensure That He Gets Enough Rest
Nothing helps better than ample rest. This allows the body to heal better and focus the energy on fighting the infections.
When to Consult a Doctor
Children tend to avoid going to the doctor for the fear of injections or any other reason. But if he is constant pain make him understand. If he has a high temperature combined with sweating and a sense of discomfort, it is a sign that the infection is moving beyond your control and requires medical attention. Typical symptoms of the flu such as headaches, fever, runny nose, cough, will be taken care of by the doctor as soon as possible to prevent it from getting severe. Any specific signs such as an extremely high fever, breathing problems, bleeding, constant crying, vomiting, or intense pain, should also be addressed by the doctor right away. So, if you notice any of these symptoms in your child, you must take immediate action.
If your child is sick, you must take prompt actions. Follow the above-mentioned tips to make your child feel comfortable. Your quick action and medical help can treat your child.
Also Read: Effective Eye Care Tips for Children