How To Care For A Sick Child With Flu or Fever
A parent never wants to see their child get sick. Unfortunately, it does happen. With the flu hitting hard there are numerous school closings and sick children. Here are a few tips to help keep your child a little more comfortable when the nasty flu gets a hold of them:
Of course with the flu comes a fever. One thing you never want to do when a child has a fever is give him/her milk. This can actually cause an upset stomach making them feel even worse. Instead make sure to give them juices that are not too acidic (apple, grape, or mixtures without orange or grapefruit juice), and make sure they are good and cold. Sodas are not good for children but during the flu they can taste pretty good to a little one (in moderation, of course). Kool-aid, cold decaffeinated tea, and even a sports type drink are also good to give a sick child.
Another thing you want to do for a child with a fever is to dress him/her lightly. Since this flu is hitting when most places still have hot weather (at least in the United States), shorts and a short sleeve shirt is all the child needs to wear. If they are lying down put only a sheet over them.
Going a little bit against the rules of keeping a child who has a fever cool is what to do when their chest is congested. Take them into the bathroom, close the door, and run the shower on the hottest water you can. Let the bathroom get good and steamy. Now when doing this it is usually advisable to remove all their clothing but their underwear. One precaution you need to take is you do not want to take them out of the bathroom too quick and into a cooler part of the house. Therefore, keep the child in the bathroom until all the steam dissipates, put their clothing back on them before leaving the bathroom, and do not have the temperature of the house very cool.
Sometimes with the flu comes nausea and vomiting. This usually has to run its course. Make sure the child stays well hydrated in this situation. The best thing here for them to drink is sports type drinks. This will at least put electrolytes back into them. Juices of any type are not recommended for upset stomachs. One thing that usually helps in this situation is to have popsicles on hand. Since they are frozen they are not only good for an upset stomach but also a fever.
And of course who can forget the sniffles, sneezing, and stuffy nose that come right along with the flu. Well, except for some medications, there is not a whole lot to do for these things. They must run their course also. Keeping soft tissues (no-lotion is best for a child) on hand and maybe a vaporizer can be a big help for a sick child. Keeping their head elevated can be a big help if the nose is stuffy. Make sure they blow their nose often if it is running.
The most and all time important thing to do for a sick child is to be there for them. Sit with them, read to them, hold them, comfort them, and LOVE them. You would be surprised at what love can do for a sick child.
Hopefully the flu will not hit your household and your child. But if it does, hopefully these few tips will help keep your precious little one more comfortable.