Crucial Essentials for Your Sick Child
Updated: Aug 4
One of the worst feelings in the world is when you have sick kids, whether they are older children or young children.
When your child is sick, you wish you could take the sickness away. I would much rather have an illness than my children have one.
Unfortunately, it happens though. Your child goes to school and brings home a cold, flu, viral infection, or even the stomach flu.
It seems that our daughter brings illnesses home from school and gives them to her little brother and eventually my husband and me.
It's a good idea to boost your child's immune system and help them fight the serious childhood illnesses going around.
Once germs have entered the house, the important thing to do is help your child heal quickly.
Here’s a list of essentials you need to blast the sickness out of the house as quickly as possible and help your child on the road to recovery.
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What are your Child's Symptoms?
The first thing I like to do when my children are sick is figure out what types of symptoms they have, so I can let the doctor's office know. Some of the most common symptoms include sore throat, cough, stuffy noses, runny nose, high fever, low-grade fever, body aches, chills, and more.
If your child is showing any serious symptoms that are not common or you are concerned with, make sure to contact their pediatrician or a health care professional immediately to catch anything serious.
The best way to let your child's doctor know what is going on is to write down any symptoms they have and concerns you have so you can share them with the doctor during their appointment. I find this helps me remember everything and I don't have to worry about forgetting any important information while at the doctor with my sick baby.
What Should I Do?
1. Purchase your Essential Items
Get your children all the important items to successfully make it through cold and flu season. I always manage to catch my children’s colds, so having everything I need at home already really helps me.
These items should be in addition to any antibiotics or medication the doctor prescribes for your child to help with their illness.
Check out below to see some of the additional essentials you could purchase to help your child get healthy.
2. Contact your Child’s Pediatrician
If your child is running bad fevers, is sick much longer than they should be, is having difficulty breathing, or there’s something unusual going on, you should speak to their pediatrician.
The pediatrician can run tests to check for any serious infections or viruses beyond the average flu symptoms. You will want to know if your child has more serious illnesses like ear infections, strep throat, RSV, or anything else that cannot be treated with at home remedies.
It’s possible your child could require an antibiotic or have something much worse requiring medical attention. It’s important to keep your pediatrician informed so they can document any necessary information in their records.
3. Keep Your Child Home
I know it’s tempting to send them to school or activities when they’re sick. As children, we only stayed home from school if we were vomiting or running a bad fever.
It may seem silly to keep your child home for a sick day, but your child's teachers and friends will appreciate them not spreading the germs around school.
Just like at home, your child will spread their illness around their classroom, which will create a ripple effect.
By keeping your child home, you will help stop the spread of illnesses around the school.
What Essentials Should I Buy?
Once your child is sick, head on down to the local pharmacy to stock up on all the essentials they will need to help them get better.
There are many different types of thermometers to choose from to regulate your body temperature and you can choose based on your child's age.
It is known that a rectal thermometer is the most accurate and is commonly used for sick babies starting at birth.
Another option is the oral thermometers that you insert under the tongue. If your small children do not sit still long enough for an oral thermometer, you will not get an accurate result.
If you opt to get a rectal thermometer or an oral thermometer, it is recommended to assign a separate thermometer to each family member. Make sure to thoroughly clean the thermometer after each use.
My personal favorite is the forehead digital thermometer. My children's pediatrician uses a forehead digital thermometer in the office, and you can find many that are accurate and good quality.
No matter which thermometer you use, make sure to use it to regulate everyone’s temperatures. You should also continue to check your child's temperature after they have a normal temperature for a few days after their fever breaks. Once of the worst things is having a fever come back after it had gone away.
You can get a Thermometer from Amazon Here!
2. Pain Relievers
I am not a medical professional, and this is not medical advice, but Tylenol and Advil are best known for reducing fevers and helping with pain. Speak to your child’s pediatrician to get the proper dosage for your child and what the best schedule to administer pain relievers is for them.
You should also check before mixing pain relievers with any prescribed antibiotics or medications from your child's doctor. Many medications cannot be taken together so it is best to check with a healthcare professional before administering anything other than what was prescribed.
3. Oral Rehydration Solution
If your child is dehydrated, vomiting, or has diarrhea, it is important to keep them hydrated.
Pedialyte is a great source of electrolytes, and it has great flavors to choose from. Another option is to use sugar, salt, and water to make a homemade oral rehydration solution.
These cold liquids will help replenish the electrolytes your child has lost from being sick and will help them make sure they are staying hydrated with plenty of fluids.
Just make sure to purchase the solution that is designed specifically with children in mind.
4. Nasal Aspirator
If you have young babies who cannot blow their nose yet, a Nose Frida is an important item to have. It allows you to suck boogers from your baby’s nose to prevent them from running down into your child's chest.
The last thing you want to deal with is strep or pneumonia on top of an already sick infant.
Clean and fill up your children’s humidifiers or run out to get a new one. If your child has a stuffy nose, a humidifier will help open their sinuses, which will make it easier to breathe.
My husband and I fill up our humidifiers when we’re sick too. It helps with dry air in the winter if you live in an area where heaters are required. I prefer a cool mist humidifier because it keeps the room cool and I feel like the air is easier to breathe.
If you do not want to purchase a warm humidifier, an easy way to breathe in steam is by sitting in the bathroom with the shower on for a few minutes.
I prefer to make homemade Chicken and Dumplings with a side of pasta because it’s my family’s favorite. Some people prefer to buy canned soup and others prefer chicken soup. There are so many amazing options out there for soups, so pick your child’s favorite and stock up.
Soup has so many benefits to help your child heal from their illness. The heat can also help soothe sore throats and sore sinuses. I also find it’s easier to get my child to drink soup broth than water while they’re sick, so it helps with hydration as well.
Cleaning the house is important! When everyone in the house is sick, the germs are going to continually spread among everyone unless you take the important precautions.
I personally prefer Clorox, but many people opt for more natural options. Whichever option you choose, make sure to clean doorknobs, handrails, light switches, and other constantly touched services that are regularly forgotten.
Take a look at the cleaning products available on Amazon Here! The great part is, you can sign up for Subscribe & Save to save 5% now and 15% on repeat deliveries.
8. Fruit Juice
Drinking fruit juice can have so many good benefits while you are sick, especially if you are having trouble eating solid food. The natural ingredients can help boost your vitamins. Orange juice is full of Vitamin C, which is great for boosting your immune system.
The sugary drinks are not always great for you, but they can have a lot of added benefits while you are sick.
9. Ginger Ale
If your illness is causing nausea, drinking ginger ale can help settle your stomach. While I was pregnant, ginger products really helped keep my stomach settled during the day so I could function.
If you want to drink ginger ale but you don't like the carbonation, you could open your ginger ale and leave it out for a little while before drinking it. If you want to try a different ginger product, you could look into ginger cookies, ginger candies, or ginger tea.
10. Cold Medicines
Many people like to take cold medicines when they are sick to help with the severe symptoms. My husband always has a bottle of cough suppressant in the medicine cabinet during flu and cold season, so he has it when he gets sick.
There are many cold medications for children that would help with sinus issues and coughs during illnesses.
Check with your child's pediatrician before giving them cold medicines or any cough suppressants to make sure they will not interact with any medications they are currently taking.
It's also important to make sure your child is old enough before giving them cough medication.
Taking care of sick children is so hard, but if you’re stocked up with your essentials, it can help your children heal comfortably.
Just make sure your child is getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of liquid to help them on the mend quickly.
What items do you find help you out the most when you’re taking care of your sick children?
Are there any essentials you find necessary for sick kids?