Once children start nursery and school, they will inevitably pick all kinds of germs and viruses. Both of my sons managed to get chicken pox in the nursery. I think Eddie haven't been to the nursery even for a month before he caught it. But while in the nursery the attendance is not an issue, the school is a different matter, there is too much pressure on not missing school at any cost.
Many parents send their sick kids to school, with the attitude "Oh, I gave her Calpol before school, and hope she'll be fine". Then there is always a pressure from school for the attendance stats. I remember when Eddie was in Reception, and was unwell quite often, with a fever or stomach bug, we had a letter from school about our "poor performance" and spoiling the school attendance statistics. I was quite furious. Anyway, his immunity is getting stronger.
He did miss several days of school this academic year, when he had a bad cold with a high temperature, but I would never send a sick child to school, statistics or not.
Whenever he is unwell, he loves me fussing around him. He would stay on the sofa in the sitting room, all tucked in with a warm soft duvet. If he's a bit perkier, he might watch his favourite DVDs or listen to audio books, sometimes nodding off. Resting aplenty is very important.
When he was younger, he loved to hug his favourite soft toys.
I try to entice him to eat something, and drink plenty, as when he is unwell, he is off his food too. Keeping him well hydrated is a priority.
If your children like the taste of ginger, make a ginger tea with with honey to help soothe the sore throat. It lessens the inflammation and helps to clear the sinus area. Sadly, Eddie doesn't like ginger, so this is not his favourite drink.
We enjoy a quiet time together. Eddie loves me to read books to him. Scary stories like Goosebumps are his favourite. He would be sipping his cup of hot milk with honey and listening to the story. Hot milk with honey is our drink of the day, when we have colds or bugs, even my husband asks for a cup of hot milk at bedtime when he's unwell.
Just like my own Mum used to give me hot milk, and tell me a story. She rarely read books to me, but used to tell stories, she's a great story-teller.
The other folk remedy my Mum used to do was to put dry mustard in socks, and make us wear those socks overnight. I think as a remedy it worked, but I disliked sleeping in socks.
When we were little and had a cold, Mum would prepare boiled potatoes, then mash them, cover the cooking pot with a towel, and make us breathe the steam under the towel.
You can also use a steamy hot water with a few drops of essential oil like eucalyptus or tea tree as a decongestant, but it's probably best for older children, as you have to be very careful with the hot water.
My Mum is a source of old remedies, even now when we talk on the phone and I tell her I'm not feeling well thanks to the cold, she'd suggest cutting an onion or garlic and putting it next to my bed. To be honest, I don't follow her advice. I don't think I could sleep with all that smelly food around me. Sorry, Mum.
And of course a homemade chicken soup is a must! It gives you energy and strength when you're feeling weak from cold.
If it's a cold my kids are suffering with, we get a reliable old remedy, Vicks VapoRub, out.
Eddie's very ticklish, and giggles when I smear the VapoRub on his back and chest. It helps him to breathe easier, relieves congestion and helps with a sore throat. It has a pleasant smell, not too strong.
Vicks VapoRub has come up with a series of videos recently, called #VicksTricks, teaching parents how to keep children entertained when they are ailing.
"When children are feeling poorly, every parent needs a few tricks up their sleeve to entertain, distract and make them feel better, especially during the back-to-school season when they need to be back up and on their feet quickly".
Eddie and I enjoyed watching the videos. The drawing trick was our favourite, as it is simple yet impressive.
As a talking point about #VicksTricks, BritMums have sent us a big envelope of goodies including a book for younger children, finger puppets for creative play and Vicks First Defence nasal spray. We haven't had a chance to test the spray yet (knock on the wood), but it is supposed to work at the first signs of cold, by targeting the viruses to help stop the cold in its tracks before the symptoms got worse. I guess it will work similar to the other Vicks nasal sprays, which I use quite often myself.
What are your tips for surviving the cold season?
This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.