It can be miserable enough when you’re sick, but having to take care of a sick child at the same time can make it even tougher.
You may naturally want to focus solely on your child, but you’ll be sacrificing your own health in the process. Let’s talk about some of the key things you can do to ensure you both get back to full health as quickly as possible:
Get Plenty of Rest
Sick children and sick adults all need more sleep and rest when they are fighting an illness. Forget the dirty dishes and the other chores, just concentrate on getting the rest you both need.
Young children, unless they’re really sick, may not want to stay in bed – which doesn’t help you if you’re feeling ill yourself. Although watching TV may not be ideal, it can be relaxing for your child and give you both the chance to rest.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
It is very important that you and your child drink lots of water, juice, tea, Gatorade, and even colas when you are sick. This helps to flush the body of toxins and prevent dehydration.
Babies and younger children are at a much greater risk of dehydration, especially if they have a fever, diarrhea, or are vomiting. Make sure your child is drinking enough by giving them drinks they enjoy. Turn it into a treat.
Sick children tend to lose their appetite, and they may not feel like eating. Not eating much for a couple of days won’t do them any harm, so don’t force the issue unless the child isn’t improving after several days.
It is important that they consume enough calories, however, so they don’t get so tired that it’s difficult to feel better again. Fruit juices tend to have a healthy amount of calories. For adults, a bit of caffeine can also help you regain your energy.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Many of the illnesses that you and your family get are caused by viral infections. These illnesses include a cold, the flu, cough, and sore throat. Viruses are easily passed on to others through touching and through the air (via coughs and sneezes), so it is very important to keep good hygiene when you’re trying to get well – such as washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth when coughing, and covering your nose when sneezing.
It is always good practice not to touch your mouth, eyes, or nose with your hands – instead, use a tissue. Also always sanitize surfaces, countertops, toys, handles, etc. regularly to lessen the spread of germs. Children and adults should wash their hands especially before eating and after using the bathroom.
See a Doctor
The fastest way for you and your child to get well again is to see a doctor. An in-office exam is the best way for a physician to make an accurate diagnosis and to provide proper treatment and recommendations.
Sometimes mild infections, whether viral or bacterial, can develop into more serious infections. It is important to call your health care team if the illness gets progressively worse, develops new symptoms, or doesn’t get better within a few days.
Pediatricians in Greater Boston
The Children’s Health Care clinic provides comprehensive pediatric health care from birth through adolescence. Our medical team is available when you need us.
Outside of our normal office hours, a member of our medical team is always on call to respond to emergencies and to answer urgent questions. If you need to speak to us now or schedule an appointment, please call (978) 465-7121. We look forward to taking care of your child so the whole family can start getting better again.