Your Children Are Sick — Tips to Survive a Day in Flu Season

If you can’t guess from the title, my kids are sick.  Nothing drastic, *just* stomach flu, same as half of my son’s preK class.  Meanwhile, in the moment, how do we survive the day or night?

  • Don’t use cold medicines meant for older kids or adults. Cold medicines are banned under 6 years old for a reason. I’m personally a fan of alternative medicine. When I’m not sure of safety, I ask our pediatrician, and look for sources that are meant for young children, for instance free of alcohol. Remember to separate probiotics from antibiotics by at least an hour.

  • kids not feeling wellIf you’re worried, call your doctor.  Don’t ask Dr. Google or your parent listserv.  An internet search will surely turn up the one in a million case that’ll scare you to death, and won’t turn up what’s really wrong.

  • If you believe in TV time, relax the rules to give everyone a break.  Or give a new game or toy.  We love blocks, legos, puzzles and art projects in our house.  After a weekend stuck at home, I ran out to a local shop and bought the kids a couple of new kits.  Now, I wish I’d kept some hidden for this purpose.

  • Sleep when your children sleep.  Seriously, what’s good for a new mom is good for a sick family. Put your older children down for a nap, and take one yourself. Resist the urge to clean house or do major projects.

  • Expect potty accidents if your kids are younger.

  • For the stomach flu, consider sticking a small trash bin from the bathroom in bed with your child. My elder sleeps in the top bunk and can now make the bucket, but not down the ladder all the way to the bathroom.

  • Keep babysitting service web sites on hand for when you need extra help. Many services will care for sick children for an extra fee.

  • Order in food or other conveniences if at all possible. Here in San Francisco, Munchery offers same day meal delivery, and Google Shopping offers same day store runs, as do several other services. EBay Now is in a couple cities as well.

  • Accept help from friends, but don’t let them in the house; no need to infect your friends. Let them bring you a meal or do a grocery store run.

  • Coffee.

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