This is the time of year when colds and coughs are at their worst and few homes escape the effect of flu season. As parents, taking care of a poorly child can be quite stressful as we deal with our little ones' runny noses, fevers, sneezing, coughing and disturbed sleep. If you are anything like me, then you will have a medicine cabinet stocked with kids' paracetamol, Vicks Vaporub and First Defence spray, a thermometer, throat sweets, multi-vitamins, echinacea drops and cough medicines - just in case! But medicines are just a small part of nursing a child who doesn't feel well.
Children need to get plenty of rest when they are unwell, and often need to be gently entertained and soothed when not asleep. Lots of TLC and cuddles help poorly children feel better, as parental care and concern can be a powerful antidote to feeling unwell. I have spent many days sat on the sofa snuggling my children when they have felt poorly, stroking their little heads and holding their little hands. Housework can wait when there is a sick child that needs my attention.
A cuddly toy or snuggly hot water bottle can make perfect comforters. A favourite book or DVD can be a great way to relax a little one and offer a distraction to their symptoms. 75% of parents, according to Vicks consumer research, put on a favourite TV show or film while 27% read a story to their child when they feel poorly. Some parents get more creative with 8% telling jokes and 2% turning to magic tricks, like this Vick Tricks magic coin trick! Laughter can be the perfect medicine.
During flu season, I always try to make sure that Freddy eats plenty of fruit and vegetables, drinks a glass of orange juice a day and takes multi-vitamins to keep his immune system boosted. I encourage him to wash his hands to keep them germ free and if he does get the sniffles, the use of tissues is actively encouraged!
My favourite tip for when a cold strikes is to give children a nice, warm bath. The steamy room helps with congestion and a bath relaxes them ready for sleep. When I was a little girl, my parents were big believers in 'feeding a cold' and we were always given plenty of our favourite food to give us the strength to fight the virus. I don't know if that really worked, but a tasty treat makes you feel better, calories give you much needed energy and the action of chewing definitely helps clear your head. So if my little ones feel like eating, I'm happy to indulge them!
VapoRub was a product my mum always used on us, smothering our chests in it before bedtime if we had a cold. The smell of it has such an evocative scent. It is a product I have used on all my children over the past 28 years and is a must have in our household. Freddy likes to sniff it straight from the pot if his nose is blocked.
Getting children back on their feet and feeling better can take time, but with love, care and a few tricks up your sleeve, they will be running around and back to their usual selves soon enough.
This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.