“Prepare for Sick Days”
by Shelly Burke
(This article is adapted from the book Home is Where the Mom Is;
A Christian Mom's Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home by Shelly Burke)
Running out of “sick day” supplies usually means a very inconvenient trip to the store with sick kids, or just as bad, a sick mom. Illnesses rarely come at convenient times, and your first prayer is probably for Jesus to come and heal whoever is sick!
Start your own preparation for sick days, today. Begin by making a comprehensive list of “sick day” supplies for both adults and children in your home.
Your list should include:
- Over-the-counter medications to treat fever, pain, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, cold symptoms, cough, nausea and vomiting, diaper rash, and so on, in age-appropriate form (drops, liquid, chewable, tablets) for ever member of your family.
- Keep in mind that some of these symptoms—cough, fever, etc.—may be the body’s way of getting rid of harmful substances, and you shouldn’t always treat them. Ask your doctor or a nurse for guidelines as when to treat them.
- Learn to read labels. May medications contain several ingredients; for example, cold medications may also contain acetaminophen (for fever or pain). If you give additional acetaminophen along with the cold medicine, you may be giving too much acetaminophen, which can be very dangerous.
o Medications to treat any chronic illness like asthma or diabetes. When a child or adult with a chronic illness is sick, the dosage of medicine to treat the chronic illness might need to be changed. Check with your doctor if you have questions about doing so.
o If your child gets frequent ear infections, ask the doctor to prescribe a bottle of pain killing ear drops which will help until you can get the child to the doctor. The drops will not treat the infection, only the pain, so it is still necessary to see the doctor.
o Electrolyte replacement fluid/popsicles (like Pedialyte) for infants or toddlers who have diarrhea and/or are vomiting.
o Soda and/or juice to sooth upset tummies and replace fluids lost by vomiting/diarrhea.
o Miscellaneous supplies: Thermometer and probe covers, humidifier and distilled water, tissues.
o Comfort foods like soup, mashed potatoes, rice, applesauce, jello, pudding, popsicles.
o Activities to keep kids occupied when they’re on the road to wellness but bored, and to keep them busy if you are sick. When they’re on sale purchase coloring and activity books, DVDs, crayons, markers, craft projects, and so on. Keep these hidden until they’re needed!
o If your mother’s instinct tells you your kids are on the verge of getting sick, or a virus is running rampant at school, double check your supplies and stock up if necessary.
This list is just a basic suggested list. Personalize it to fit your family. Illnesses usually don’t occur at predictable times or when it’s convenient to go to the store for supplies. Stock up, using the tips in the post Never Run Out and you’ll be ready for anything!