This is the time of the year where children are prone to influenza or flu. I’ve just spent one week with sick children at home and it’s not over yet. We can find several sites about the symptoms and general advice, but I will just to list up five tips about how to cope with children with a flu. – There are many effective ways to beat the flu and to encourage a speedy recovery.
1) Keep the kids cool
Physicians often recommend to keep the patients well-hydrated. As the medicines have different names and components around the world, I’ll not name any, but what is very important are liquids. Warm herbal tea (with or without honey), juices (if its not a tummy-flu), water. All kind of refreshment is highly appreciated by the youngsters: you can cool face, hands and feet with cool washclothes or even do leg compresses. Airing the rooms regularly is a must, and changing pillows and pillowcases more often than usual provide a fresh feeling, especially when the children are feverish. What can help is to set up beds a bit everywhere in the house, in order to keep children close to caregivers and guarantee better nights. There’s nothing worse (at least for me!) than to stand up several times per night…
2) Make a list
When we take care of a sick child it’s advisable to make a list about several things: what kind of medicine we administrate, when, to which child, what temperature it had (when etc.) and whatever deviations or abnormalities we observe (and when), what they eat, drink etc. This is even more important if we have to take care of more than one child and longer than one day. And it’s a huge help when we have to explain to a doctor what our child is going through.
3) What to eat?
When the children are already convalescent getting them to eat often becomes a parent’s biggest challenge. Appetites usually shrink andt hey have no interest in food. A soft diet can help: herbal teas, broths and sometimes popsicles can help with hydration and homemade chicken soup is the best comfort food.
My children’s comfort food when they are ill is yogurt, chicken, sweet potatoes, rice, or plain pasta with olive oil and parmigiano.
4) Entertaining Kids With Flu
When the children are already in the final phase of recovery but are not healthy enough to go to school, they often get bored. A gentle entertainment is always helpful. As expats we usually don’t have grandparents, aunts or uncles living nearby, so we have to figure out alternatives. Neighbors or friends can lend some books or games in order to offer our children a new activity. But you can also dig out old games, books, CD’s, DVD’s or let them paint, color or write something.
In this period of the year, before Christmas, writing or decorating Christmas cards keeps kids busy and you can spend a nice time together. Craft projects are also a nice diversion. Water colors, model building, decorating or painting windows with glass-writing pens etc. are also nice indoor alternatives to electronic entertainment.
5) Relax and take care of yourself
After the first days where we often feel stressed having children at home because we have to adapt to this situation, it’s really a benefit to the whole family if we just lean back and try to relax. Cancel all the appointments, stay home with the sick children and do everything possible to make everyone feel good enough to be able to have a rest.
Parents need to take care of themselves, have enough sleep, drink and eat enough and exercice if they can. Only caregivers who feel well can give their children the best help to have a rapid recovery. If our children feel that staying at home is inconvenient, they will feel guilty and this probably won’t help their recovery process.
I wish all those who are in the same situation as I am right now, to be patient and to make the best of this situation. – And, of course, I wish everyone a speedy recovery 😉