Every year when school starts up, the sickies roll around. It starts with one of them having a runny nose and a bit of a cough, and the next thing I know my house looks like Slimer from Ghostbusters paid a visit. Snot everydangwhere. Their noses become faucets, and I spend half the day chasing the wee little ones around, trying to keep the drip in check.
I get a good workout at least.
But when those sickies stick around (like they have been for the past, like, month now), there are a few things I like to do to help the kids feel more comfortable, and get on the way to wellness.
Invest in a Few Good Essential Oils
In my attempt to try and be as independent from medicines and chemical cleaners as possible, I’ve learned how to use some essential oils, and I LOVE it. When the kids are sick, I whip out the Lavender oil, Eucalyptus oil, and Tea Tree oil. I’ll explain why in a bit, but I would highly recommend doing some research and learning how to use some on your own. There’s many ways to use a single oil by itself, and put in conjunction with others, they can be pretty powerful, not to mention safer than some other things in stores. I’ll probably have another post later on how I use my essential oils, but, as I say, another post for another time…
When the kids’ noses have turned into leaky faucets, I do my best to keep tissues in my pocket for the one year old and my baby. As for the two year old, I’ve had to teach him how to at least wipe his nose, and to USE ONLY ONE! Good grief I can’t tell you how many times THIS MONTH I’ve gone into the bathroom to find nearly a whole box of nearly unused tissues in the trash. And what do you do? Take them back out? (heh, I did. They were the boy’s special tissues to learn how to properly blow his nose. Waste not, want not). Also, have you seen those silly canisters of ‘Boogie Wipes’ on the market? They’re amazing! They’re gentler than tissues and wet washcloths, and somehow more effective than both at getting off the dried on sticky snot. I recommend them.
Don’t Be Afraid of Extra Screen Time
Whether in front of the TV or with the iPad, I let the kids relax in front of the screen for a little longer than usual. I mean, come on, what do YOU do when you feel like crud? I try to gauge it on how they’re acting, because I don’t want them lounging around so long that they can’t get in a good nap later. Staring at a TV for hours is no replacement for quality sleep for one. Hour that is.
Put a Pot of Water on to Boil
Or invest in a steam vaporizer (And none of that ‘cool mist’ nonsense. Cold and wet? Can you say yucky? Just be smart about it, like you would with ANY hot water. Common sense people). Here’s where those essential oils come in. I put in a few drops of eucalyptus and tea tree oils in a large pot of water, and put it on to boil. The eucalyptus has camphoraceous properties (think Vick’s Vapo-rub), and the tea tree oil helps to cut down on bacteria and mold in the air (I use it in my cleaning solutions too). At night, I include a few drops of lavender oil in the mix in the vaporizer as well. A couple of drops in the baby’s bath don’t hurt either. Just a couple of drops work. Essential oils last FOREVER.
Also I turn the heat up in the house a few degrees. Kiddies aren’t very good at staying covered up in blankets, and don’t/can’t tell me when they feel chilled.
No Heavy Foods
I try to give the kids a lunch and snack that is as clean, fresh, and healthy as possible. Brothy soup, sandwiches, fruits and veggies, etc. Not only is this just healthier and more nutritious, which is what sick kids need more than ever, but also… well…
Snotty kids have AMAZING gag reflexes, and I’ve learned my lesson when I’ve given them heavy ‘comfort food,’ only to have it come back up again after a good coughing fit. Ew.
Also, don’t be surprised if their appetites aren’t what they usually are, and a heavy meal won’t help that.
For myself, I have a couple cups of tea a day, no matter what. It’s how I self-soothe. The kids caught on, and now love to drink chamomile, white, and peppermint tea. All of these are good for kids with colds. If they’re old enough to drink from a mug, I let them do that. Steamy tea is very nice. If they’re too little for that, and can’t be patient with hot tea, I either give it to them icy cold or still quite warm (gulping temperature, you know what I mean) in a sippy cup.
What About Fevers?
Fevers are tricky. I feel like these kids get fevers at the drop of a hat (did that happen often when people wore hats all the time? Hats falling?), and I’ve learned not to worry about them too much. The body needs to heat up in order to kill the bugs causing the sickness. Only if the child/baby is acting really pathetic or in pain (crying, whining, rubbing head, rolling around more on the floor, not eating, etc.) do I give him pain medicine to bring the fever down. (Ibuprofen. Tylenol is not the best here, though it works in a pinch).
Because who doesn’t want to be held and have a back rub when she’s feeling icky?
Those are some of the things I try to do when we’ve got a virus tromping through the house. What do YOU do when the sickies come to visit?
- Essential oils for Acne (essentialoilmedicinal.wordpress.com)
- Six powerful ways to use lavender during the cold and flu season (noliesradio.org)
- Back to Basics: Essential Oils! (laurenkovac.wordpress.com)
- When in Doubt, Take Lavender (Essential Oil) Out (womanwithoils.com)
- DIY: Antiseptic Ointment (modernhomesteaders.net)