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08 March 2013

My kids are sick. Now what?

I'm writing this post with one little guy on the couch.  There's been so much sickness this winter.  As a mom of three guys with asthma and more than their fair share of sickness, I thought I'd pass on my tips and tricks for surviving sickness.

1.  Separate them from the herd:
As a general rule,  I practice strict isolation techniques when someone is sick.  They are confined to one area of the house and one cup.  Usually, I set them up in our bedroom that is just off the living room.  This is just Nursing 101.  Keep those germs away from everyone else. 

2.  Scrub those paws:
Good hand washing is the #1 way to prevent the spread of diseases.  Went to the bathroom - wash your hands.  Eating a snack - wash your hands.  Just went shopping at Walmart - for goodness sakes, wash your hands!

3.  When there's a storm a brewing (gastrointestinaly speaking):
This one is by far the most tiring on momma, but also the easiest to handle.  After throwing up, nothing to eat or drink for two hours.  Then start with a drink:  water, 7-up, ginger ale.  If that's tolerated, follow the BRAT diet.  Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.  Advance slowly.
If it's diarrhea causing problems, encourage fluids.  I like to use Gatorade mixed half and half with water.  Let's face it, these are little kids.  They don't need that much sodium!  I also use the BRAT diet, including yogurt for all that probiotic goodness that your gut needs.  Don't let either of these illnesses go on too long.  If at any point your little one seems listless or hasn't peed, it's time to see the doctor.

My way to manage all the mess that goes along with this is to make layers on the bed.  Over the sheet, I have 3-4 blankets, then 1-2 towels that continue over the pillow too.  That way, when they have an accident, instead of changing the whole bed, I can pull off the top layer and wash it.  Of course, we also use "the bucket", just in case we can't make it to the bathroom in time.

4.  When it's just too hot:
Anything that has a fever, cough, or congestion type illness, I separate them and encourage rest and fluids.  I'm a big fan of a humidifier - just make sure you keep it clean.  I also like to use vaporub (of course, we use a hippie vapo alternative from the health store).  I usually put it on their feet or on their back between the shoulder blades, instead of their fronts.  I started doing that when they were little and didn't know to not touch it.  I would put it on and then cover them up in their footy sleepers.  Anything to keep from getting it in their eyes.  Trust me.

These are just some of the tips and tricks I use.  Of course, I'm not a substitute for sound medical advice and only you know your child. 

Here's hoping Spring (and wellness) is just around the corner!


Rachel E. said...

Since being back in the US, my kids have been sick more than I can count. I don't like it. When we were overseas, they didn't get sick very often. Prior to that, when we were attending a big church, they were sick a lot as well. I get frustrated with people who let their kids go to church and school knowing full well they are sick and contagious. That, is my current frustration as I have two kids with a cold/flu and two with pink eye. The youngest has both.

Charli said...

I'm with ya! The boys were sick all the time when they were smaller and in the nursery. You could almost count on them waking up sick on Tuesday after church on Sunday. Hope your crew feels better fast! BTW, do you give them probiotics? It's seemed to help the boys a lot the past year.

Selena said...

Praying for all of you, Charli. I heard that vaporub works to curb cough when put on your feet, and I was desperate last year and tried it. I was surprised how well it worked for me, and my asthma flares when I get a cold so I really get wheezy when I'm coughing. I should have had 6-pak abs, with all that contracting that was going on. :)

We had a barfer in one of the testing rooms Thursday, and some kids missed due to stomach bug. I think there should be a rule against being sick when spring is obviously on its way. :<

Charli said...

I heard about the "testing interruption"! Poor kid. The vapo rub is weird, but it works great.