7 ways to survive when your kids are sick.

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Essential reading for every parent.

I hate it when my kids are sick.

I hate seeing them miserable and quiet (even though, when they’re well, I’m always wishing they’d be a little quieter).

And I really hate not being able to make them instantly well again.

But minor illnesses are a part of life for kids. In fact, young children often have eight to 10 colds a year. That’s a lot of snotty tissues.

“I really hate not being able to make them instantly well again.”

We all go through it. With my son having started school this year, I’m going through a lot of it right now.

Here are some tips on how to survive.

1. Relax the rules on screen time.

This isn’t the time to enforce strict limits on kids’ TV or iPad use. Let them have more than usual, if they want it. Anything that will stop them thinking about how miserable they’re feeling is a good thing. Just tell yourself that as you listen to the incredibly irritating Fireman Sam theme song for the 100th time.

 2. Buy them a present.

Kids deserve some kind of reward for bravely enduring their illness (or some kind of distraction if they’re whining non-stop).

Buy them a present. Works every time.

Get them something they can use immediately – a new book you can read with them, or a game you can play together.

3. Make drinking fun.

It’s really important that kids keep up their fluids when they’re sick, and it’s easier to get them to do that if you’re a bit creative. Try giving them curly straws to drink with, or iceblocks made with fruit juice – whatever you think they’ll like. (Milk is fine, by the way. It’s a myth that you should avoid dairy products when you have a cold).

4. Let them eat whatever makes them feel better.

Soft, cool foods go down more easily if a child has a sore throat. Sitting on the couch eating ice cream together doesn’t sound too bad.


5. Help them (and you) sleep more easily with a vaporiser.

The Euky Bear Steam Vaporiser releases warm steam into a child’s bedroom all night, which can help ease their congestion and coughing.

“The Euky Bear Steam Vaporiser releases warm steam into a child’s bedroom all night, which can help ease their congestion and coughing.”

It’s also the quietest steam vaporiser on the market – so that means a better night’s sleep for everyone. You could also try rubbing Euky Bearub into your child’s chest, back or feet, or your baby’s clothes. It’s a vapour rub that uses natural eucalyptus to help clear the nose and ease breathing.

6. Look after yourself.

Sure, your child is the sick one, but it’s tough on you too, especially if your child has been very restless at night. If your partner or a family member can take over for a few hours, get out of the house and into the fresh, germ-free air.

7. Try not to let yourself get sick.

Face it: no one is going to read to you, serve you your favourite foods and tuck you in tight if you have a cold. You’ll still, most likely, have to soldier on as the main caregiver. So do your very best not to pick up whatever horrible thing your child has.

Try not to get sick yourself in the process.

Of course you’ll still want to cuddle them, but remember these things:

(1) Kids are at their most contagious in the two to four days after their cold starts.

(2) Snotty tissues need to be treated like nuclear waste and disposed of immediately.

(3) Be careful not to touch your nose or mouth, and don’t forget to keep washing your hands.

Bear with it, and just remember it won’t last forever… even if sometimes it feels like it will.

How do you survive during cold and flu season?

Here are some movie suggestions for the next time you have a sick kid at home: