Sneezing, coughing, and little running noses is tough to watch a child go through. Their cranky, uncomfortable, and sometimes down right miserable! If your child seems ill, bring them to the doctor. I am no doctor but as a mother of two and one on the way, I am going to share some tips of advice on how to properly handle a baby or toddler that gets a cold. With the cold weather coming babies are getting sick everywhere! Germs are out there just waiting to get babies sick. So what can be done to keep colds to a minimum and as short lived as possible?
1. Wash Hands. Wash your hands, baby's hands, and have everyone who comes into the home wash their hands.
2. Sanitize Surfaces. With a bleach solution of 1 part bleach, 3 parts water, in a spray bottle, with a clean wash cloth, spray and scrub everything! Walls, Tables, Chairs, Toys, Door Handles, Remotes, Bathrooms ( toilets, shower/tub, counters, sink, floors) Kitchen (counters, sick, stove, walls, floors) Bedrooms ( beds, walls, mattress, toys) Take all the bedding and wash in hot water and plenty of laundry detergent and switch pillow cases and sheets daily while sick. Sanitation is the quickest way to ensure that illness will not last as long and be concurred quickly. It may feel tedious, expecially bleaching walls and doors, if it's not something regularly done regardless, but it will be worth it!
3. Air Out The House. Let fresh air come in and air out the house. Releasing the smell of bleach and circulating the air will help kill germs as well. It may be hard to let in the fresh air with winter coming but it doesn't need to be for long. The cold will ultimately kill any remaining germs left in the house. Make sure the children are dressed warm while doing so, and air out rooms that the children are not in after you've bleached or while you are bleaching.
1. Bathe the child. Washing their hands is not sufficient enough to kill the common cold. Bathing the child before they go to bed every night that they are ill will make them feel better, as well as keep them clean and help limit germs that they carry. If they wake up with runny noses dried all over their face another warm bath in the morning is necessary. Keep them clean, and change clothes often.
2. Wipe Little Noses. Letting a child walk around with a buggy face will not fight the cold. Wiping with little noses, and boogie wipes are ideal, but wipes and tissues work just as well. Baby wipes when the buggies are hard, and tissues when they are runny. If the toddler is old enough, maybe 1 or 2 the latest, teach them how to blow their nose. So when you are wiping their nose they can release the boogers and get more out! If the child is not old enough or haven't understood the concept of blowing their nose, a nose sucker is a must! Most hate it, most will scream, but their immune systems with thank you later!
3. Cover their Cough. Teach the toddler at an early age to cover their coughs, following washing their hands. After they cough on something or cover their coughs wash the surfaces around them as well.
4. Vitamin C. Found in Orange Juice, Sunny D, Oranges, Natural vitamin c is important for fighting off a child's illness effectively. Always talk to the pediatrician before giving any vitamins or supplements, but keeping their sippy cup filled with Sunny D is completely safe as long as their are no allergies. Clean their cups regularly and in between drinks with hot water and soap. Adding vitamin C found naturally in foods, and drinks will help
5. Medication. Never give a child under the age of 2 anything but Tylonal. Cough Syrup is a medication you have to choose carefully, and is not for an infant under the age of 2 years old (24 months). I suggest talking to a doctor before choosing a cough syrup for a child 2 years or older. Tylonal can be given to an infant, but make sure it is infant tylonal and read the dosing carefully.
6. Plenty of Rest. Keep babies comfortable and encourage naps. Lay them down with a movie and a sippy cup of sunny d for nap time. If they are miserable cuddle them with a movie on the couch. Cover up with a blanket, read a book and make them feel secure. Never tell a child to stay away from you because they are sick, and you don't want to get sick. That's just sad, and makes the child feel worse. I understand that as a parent it is important to take care of yourself as well but take a shower after they fall asleep, or take precautions like sanitizing the house again. They will feel better sooner if you do so.
7. Change Clothes Often. Do not keep a sick child, baby, or toddler in the same clothes all day. They need fresh clothes throughout the day to keep germs away and help them fight their colds. Never put a child in the same clothes after a bath regardless of them being sick or not. They are sneezing, wiping, running, and anything else you can imagine on the clothes they are wearing, storing germs in their clothes. Change clothes often.
8. Monitor Temperatures. Keep a log of the temps the child has. Checking for fever, every couple hours and keeping track of normal and abnormal temps will help manage and determine when hospitalization is needed. Keeping good record of their temp will come in handy when they go to the doctor or if they need to be hospitalized.
9. Doctor Visit. Bring the child/baby to the doctor and explain the symptoms. The doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics and check for an ear infection.
As a caregiver of a sick child, chances are your going to get sick as well. A sick child needs to feel their caregivers love even when they are sick, if not more. Be there for your child, and in return take proper precautions to avoid getting sick yourself.
1. Shower Daily. Along with scrubbing your hands through out the day, shower daily. Hand sanitizer is not enough but a good addition to use regularly.
2. Wash Hands Often.
3. Medication. Medication is safer for adults than for children. If you feel your throat starting to hurt, or your sneezing and becoming congested, start taking a cough and cold medication when you feel it coming on before it kicks you in your butt. Taking cough and cold medication before you become fully sick can prevent you from getting more sick than if you didn't take medication ahead of time.
4. Take care of yourself, and your baby. No one likes to be sick, however when a child is Ill they feel more miserable than any adult who is sick. Care for your baby and make sure
Side note: Even if you don't have children, it's still cold season. Keep clean by bleaching floors, tables, and walls. I hope you all feel better soon! Also, you might want to consider upping your vitamin c intake, as it will show you a tremendous increase in your daily health.
We Love the Babies
Mother of 3, graduated from Early Childhood Education program and continues to further knowledge on child development.