In this season of darkness and cold (at least for those of us that live in the northern hemisphere) sickness tends to prowl at the door. When children are at school the sickness bugs tend to spread like wild fire. As parents we need to be in tune as the children come home with complaints and learn to discern what is appropriate for each child. On the other hand we need to be very careful that missing school doesn’t become comfortable, easy and a good time. That is where wisdom is required.
Here are a few suggestions but keep in mind you need to assess every child and make individual decisions each time.
1. Never make it a holiday at home if the children are “sick” and stay home from school. Their time shouldn’t be miserable but if they are sick insist that they rest. Sleep restores the body and sometimes that’s all they really need.
2. Pamper them and give them the comfort you would like to receive. Whenever our kids were sick, chicken noodle soup was the order of the day. My Mom always said it was “good for whatever ails you”. It’s a comfort food. You will have yours. When the children were vomiting (which makes me gag at the very thought) ginger ale is what I gave them. The ginger is supposed to be good for the digestion. However, none of them like ginger type drinks now because it automatically makes them think of being sick!
3. When a fever is running and their temperature is high give them the appropriate medicine to control it. It is not good to have them running a high fever. It may be necessary to sponge them down with cool clothes or turn on a fan in their room.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! They need to drink. The big thing their bodies’ need is fluid; water, apple juice or diluted apple juice but clear liquids are very important. Encourage them to drink.
5. If your child is not responding to all your attempts to help them they may need to see the doctor. Our children have a very high threshold to pain. I remember being up all night with one of them crying. The problem is that feeling of helplessness. To make matters worse we were visiting my brother who finally came out and said, “Should I call the doctor now?” Within the hour the doctor was out and the child diagnosed with an ear infection and given the necessary antibiotics. We were never quick to run to the doctors with every need the children had. We didn’t want them growing up thinking they must see a doctor. However, there are times when medical advice and expertise is necessary.
The big thing children want when they are not feeling well is you. You are their security and you will make them feel better just knowing you are at hand. Love them, stoke them, pray for them and tell them it’s only a ‘cold’ and this too will pass.