It’s flu season.
Every year, I hope and pray the flu will skip our house. I hate flu. It sucks.
We weren’t so lucky this season. So far, 2 out of my 3 children have had the flu. There have been tummy aches, fevers, headaches, malaise and lots of tears. It’s been a worrying time.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill for the flu. Only pain relief medication, fluids and rest will do the trick. But kids always need a bit of extra care to recover.
Where is the blankie?
My kids hold their blankies very dear. Your kids may have a favourite toy, pillow or stuffed animal. Whatever your child cherishes, have it at hand. When all feels wrong with the world, an old favourite can make things a bit better.
Use a straw
Fluids are so important to recover from any illness. It’s vital in replacing lost fluids and avoiding dehydration. When my girls refuse to drink, I pull out a straw. The more colourful the better. With the straw, they can sip little bits at a time and because we don’t use them every day, it’s something special.
Tell a few tales
Reading favourite stories is comforting to a child. Snuggling into bed with a favourite bedtime story is a wonderful feeling. It soothes and quietens. It also helps children drift off to sleep for much needed rest.
Most importantly, kids need cuddles when they are sick. Back or tummy massages can also help soothe and comfort a sick child. Mine love a hot water bottle for achy muscles or sore tummies. I just fill them with hot water from the tap and wrap them up in a baby blanket for them to hug.
It’s hard to see kids struggle with colds and flu. The symptoms may not be life-threatening, but they are tough to deal with. We all want to see our children happy, running around and being kids. Fortunately, there are things we can do to help kids stay strong and fit.
4 Ways to Keep Children Healthy
- A well balanced diet, including fruit and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and healthy sources of protein are a great start. Proper nutrition is important to maintain good health since we get most of our vitamins and minerals from food. Staying hydrated is also key. Water is the best choice, but milk, fruit juice or tea are also good.
- Getting enough sleep is essential. And children need a lot of it. Sleep supports brain development, improves their attention span and memory. It reduces stress and improves their general mood. Well rested children do better at school and in sports.
- Regular exercise not only enhances mobility, strength and coordination, but boosts energy levels and keeps illness at bay. The National Health Service has put together a great list of ideas regarding physical activity for kids. The recommendation for children over 5 is a minimum 60 minutes a day of moderate to intense exercise.
- Vitamins and supplements are also a healthy addition to a child’s diet. There are many brands to choose from, but a good multi-vitamin including Omega-3 is optimal. A supplement including vitamins D, A and C are especially important for child development. They are essential to general health and support the immune system.
Kids get sick. It’s part of growing up. But starting healthy habits now, when children are small, gives them the best start and will encourage them to keep a fit and healthy lifestyle throughout their adult life.
What are your top tips to help kids through flu? I’d love to hear from you!