Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Prepare for Sick Days
by Shelly Burke

(Adapted from Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home.)

It’s that time of year sniffles, sneezes, and stomach aches will be sneaking up on you and your family. Developing a strategy for sick days—especially if your children are young—is essential for moms!

I have a friend whose young children became sick when her husband was out of town. Two-year-old Lila’s diarrhea was relentless, and by late afternoon Sindy realized she’d have to go out to get more diapers. She carefully made a list, anticipating what they would need for a few days. As soon as they got in the store, however, Brett, Lila’s 10 month old brother, began vomiting. Sindy sped through the store, getting just a few essentials; she would ask her husband to get the rest of the supplies on his way home from the airport the next morning. However, fate struck again when his plane was delayed…and Sindy herself felt stomach rumblings. Thankfully Bobby’s plane arrived just a few hours late and he quickly returned home and rescued Sindy and his family.

To Sindy this was a landmark event: she was determined never to be unprepared for sickness again.

Start YOUR preparation for sick days, today! Begin by making a comprehensive list of “sick day” supplies, for the kids and the adults in your family. Purchase the most important items ASAP; when other items are on sale, stock up. Your list should include:

  • Medications to treat fever, pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, cold/sinus symptoms, diaper rash, cough, and so on, in age-appropriate form (drops, liquid, chewable, tablets) for every member of your family. (Later this week I’ll post medication cautions and how to choose and when to give medications.)
  • Medications to treat chronic illnesses like asthma or diabetes. Sickness can change the amount or timing of medications that are taken to treat chronic conditions, so be sure to talk with your doctor if you have any questions about doing so.
  • If you or your child have frequent ear infections, ask the doctor to prescribe numbing drops that will decrease the pain. These can be a lifesaver, easing pain until you can get in to see the doctor. These drops do not treat the infection, so you’ll still have to make an appointment for you or your child to be seen and perhaps get antibiotics.
  • Electrolyte replacement fluid or popsicles for infants/toddlers who are vomiting and/or have diarrhea.
  • Soda/juice, etc. to sooth upset tummies and replace fluids.
  • Comfort foods—soup, mashed potatoes, rice, applesauce, pudding, jello, etc.
  • Thermometer and probe covers, humidifier and distilled water, and tissues.
  • Activities to keep kids occupied when they’re on the road to wellness but bored…or when you are sick and need some quiet time. When they’re on sale, purchase age-appropriate things like crayons or markers and paper, DVD’s, stickers, books, stickers, simple craft projects, etc. The secret—keep these things hidden until they’re needed!
  • When your “mother’s instinct” kicks in and you feel illness lurking, or if your kids come home reporting how many kids got sick at school and went home, check your supplies and stock up where necessary!
Start preparing for sick days, today! You’ll be glad you did.

(adapted from Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom's Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home. Check out the complete Table Of Contents by clicking on the tab; purchase Home is Where the Mom Is by clicking on the button on the right hand side of the page.)

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