‘Tis the season for twinkling lights, carols, and sickness. As I write this, one child is getting over a cold, the other was up all night puking, and I have strep. Sigh. I’ve already said that I’m a germaphobe, but let’s face it: kids get sick no matter what you do. And that’s not exactly a bad thing… they need to encounter germs to build up their immune systems. That said, I have a few things in my mom arsenal to prevent sickness (or make it not as bad), and survival strategies for when sick days inevitably happen.
Prevention (please consult your healthcare provider before you or your children consume any of these products, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding)
Probiotics – a must when any of us are on antibiotics. We also use these in the winter for when they have a tummy bug.
Vitamin D – I try to remember to give my kids a liquid vitamin D supplement in the winter, as an extra immune system booster.
Elderberry syrup – Jury is still out if this actually does anything, but anecdotally, I have found that it seems to shorten my kids’ colds and helps build their immune system, so when they do come in contact with germs, it’s not as severe.
Handwashing – plain soap and water is the best defense against disease.
(I haven’t delved in to the essential oil world, but I have heard some people swear by them. Any oil users want to weigh in? Share your experience and tips in the comments!)
Survival Tips for when you are actually sick:
TV – Duh. Watch all the tv. I think one time when we were all sick, my son watched an entire season of a tv show on Netflix. In one day. You could splurge on a new movie on iTunes when your kids are sick, for something different.
Facetime – This is your best friend! When you are stuck in the house and they are finally sick of a show, Facetime with Grandma, aunts, or the mail man for all I care at that point. Let someone else entertain your children by giving them a “tour of their house” or showing them different toys.
Create a sick day basket – This should include children’s books (Bear Feels Sick or A Sick Day for Amos McGee are my favorites), stickers, or other toys from the dollar store. Some of our favorite easy crafts are Water Wows and Do a Dots. Only bring it out when your kids are sick.
Freezer Meals – Make chicken soup with bone broth on a day when you are all well and freeze it for those nights when nothing else tastes good and you just can’t fathom making dinner.