If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve already been sick at least once this year and we’re just getting into cold and flu season. It’s never fun to have sick kids – or be sick yourself – but unfortunately, it’s part of life.
With four kids, I understand how challenging illness can be for us moms. It’s both stressful and frustrating when your kids get sick! You might have one child who rarely gets sick or you could have a drama queen where every little sniffle is a big deal.
It’s not easy, but here’s a few things to remember when your kids get sick:
1. Remember that kids are resilient.
Even if they take after dad and think they’re dying, this too will pass and chances are, they’ll get better on their own without needing a doctor.
2. Lower your expectations.
Sometimes it’s tricky to determine whether your child is mildly sick with a slight cold or coming down with something nasty like the flu or strep throat.
If you’re not sure, give them the benefit of the doubt and let them relax. We allow limited TV and computer time only on the weekend in our house, but if one of my kids gets sick, they’re allowed to watch TV all day!
3. You need to take it easy too.
It can be stressful when your child is sick – from taking temperatures to cleaning up vomit, and that’s not to mention if your little one is whiny and just wants Mom. Sometimes it’s better to give up on any plans you had for that day and spend time with your sick child.
Plus cuddle time with mom can do wonders. Even older kids will benefit from having mom sit near them and you’ll probably both feel better!
4. Trust your “mom” instinct.
While it’s true that we
sometimes often worry unnecessarily, if you’re feeling uneasy about your child’s symptoms, call your doctor. You’ll probably be reassured that it’s just a simple virus and your child will recover on his own – but the peace of mind is worth it.
Besides, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for our gut feelings!
5. Pay close attention to the medications you give your child and the doses.
Obviously this is a no-brainer, but with so many over-the-counter options now, it can be confusing to determine which medication and when to give to your child. This is especially true when you’re woken up with a crying child at 2 am!
Did you know that many multi-symptom cold and flu medications contain acetaminophen? It’s found in more than 600 over-the-counter and prescription medications, including fever reducers, cough, cold, and allergy-relieving medicines. Acetaminophen is safe and effective when used as directed, but taking more than the recommended amounts can cause liver damage.
For adults, the FDA recommends no more than 4,000 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period.
To make sure you and your children don’t exceed the recommended amount, here are 4 simple steps to follow:
- Always read and follow the label.
- Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen.
- Take only one medicine at a time that contains acetaminophen. Double check, don’t double up!
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about dosing or medicines that contain acetaminophen.
The most common ways people exceed the maximum daily dose is by taking the next dose too soon, using multiple products containing acetaminophen, or taking too much at one time.
Always remember that children have different dosing amounts than adults and it can vary depending on age and weight. Here’s a helpful chart to help with that:
Here’s a simple tip to make sure you’re not exceeding the recommended dosage: leave yourself a quick note with the time, medication, and dosage so you can keep track and check back later. You can jot this down on a notepad or in your smartphone.
I always do this if my children are sick and I give them medication with acetaminophen. This way I can always check later and be sure I’m not giving them another dose too soon.
Don’t forget to remind Dad about these simple yet essential guidelines to follow when your kids get sick as well!