Parental Panic: Coping With Common Childhood Maladies

There are few things more frustrating and upsetting in the life of a parent than when your child is unwell, and there’s nothing you can do about it. 

There are a range of childhood illnesses that, while not disastrous, are capable of making your children feel terrible. There’s the ever-present threat of ear infections, as well as chickenpox and all the other viruses, sniffles, and sneezes that vulnerable immune systems have to learn to cope with. Even when you know the issue is not serious, as a parent, your overwhelming instinctive desire is to protect your children from anything that might befall them. When you can’t do anything but give it time, it’s incredibly frustrating. 

While you might not be able to fix the underlying problem, there are a few behaviors that you can introduce to make life easier for both your little one and yourself. Use this as a checklist of ideas to work through; some of them may seem obvious, while others might prompt you into action. Either way, it will keep both you and your kids ticking along until the illness abates and you can return to normal family life. 

1) Ice Pops For Sore Throats

Sore throats are horrible enough for adults and we have the luxury of knowing why they are happening. For kids, they are even more distressing - which is why a fruit ice pop is the perfect solution. Not only does this help with saliva production to keep your child’s mouth feeling as good as possible, but the sweet relief of the ice can help to dull the pain. 

2) Cuddle Up

Sometimes, all kids want is to be close to their Mom when they’re not feeling their best. Wherever possible, opt for close, physical contact, preferably skin-to-skin. You could even have a special cuddle blanket to snuggle up under while you hunker down as a twosome, waiting for the worst to pass. This is worth mentioning as you might be tempted to rush around looking for solutions, when in actuality, your mere presence with your child is the best solution there is. 

3) Distraction

It might seem like a good idea to let your kids have the run of the TV when they’re not feeling well - it’s a special treat, after all, and you want to be able to give them something nice. However, TV watching is very passive and might not serve as the best distraction from their plight. A better option would be playing a game; it doesn’t require a lot of physical activity so it won’t strain them, but it will help to keep their mind off how rough they are feeling. Board games and even simple card games are good options. 

4) Fresh Air

Have you ever had a headache and then found it washed away when you walk outside and take some deep breaths? Being outdoors can be restorative for adults and children alike. As soon as they are feeling up to it, go for a gentle walk in a park. Not only might it help clear the last dregs of their illness from their system, it also gives them a much-needed change of scenery after several days confined in one room. 
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