Few things are more painful than seeing your child in pain and suffering, even if it’s just a cold, especially the first one. It was bad timing for us, but it was also the best timing. Having a sick child when you have family visiting isn’t the most fun way to spend holidays together but having family around when your child is sick is a godsend because everyone helps out and takes care of each other.
You never know when it’s going to hit and once it does it can be a biohazard zone of bodily fluids dispersed all over the place. With that in mind there are a few things you should have at home at all times in case of sickness and you might not be able to get to a pharmacy.
Digital Fever Thermometer – When the first symptoms hit, this should be your first resort to get a better idea of the severity of whatever is going on since your baby can’t do much more than cry. I recommend one like in the image that can read both on forehead and the ear. In my opinion, fever is the first thing you want to get on top of and if your baby has a fever, go to the doctor. If only moderate or slight, hit up the next item on the list to reduce the fever.
Pediatric Paracetamol suppositories – Mild on the body, tough against pain and illness. It’s great to always have it on standby in the fridge if needed. Just buy the generic kind, don’t be fooled by advertised brands, the active ingredient (paracetamol) is the same in all of them, just their PR budget that differs.
Nasal aspirator – The most popular is the Swedish invention Nose Frida. It’s basically a small hose with a filter and separating chamber where one side goes into your baby’s nostril and the other side into your mouth. Don’t cringe, then you just suck on it and it pulls the mucus out and into the chamber. Don’t worry, nothing ever leaves the chamber to reach your mouth but I’ll be completely honest and tell you that I can’t stomach it. It’s on the absolute top of my most hated things to do list… and that includes cleaning poop and puke. Use it only if baby is having trouble sleeping, eating or hard to to breath in general. Don’t forget that mucus serves a purpose in the body and obsessing about clearing everything all the time can actually be harmful. Use in moderation together with saline and stick to saline as your primary way of unblocking your childs airways.
Stay hydrated – Forget about vitamins (as a fix for colds, but love vitamins all day all year in general) and silly placebo medicine and just make sure your child is well hydrated (with water, can’t believe I’m actually spelling that part out but better be safe). Our bodies are great at fighting sickness but need lots of fluids to process all that junk out. Trust nature and give it a nudge in the right direction with the above mentioned.
Vicks (and other) minty rubs – One of the worlds most common and old school treatment is Vicks Vaporub and other types of minty rubs but I want to issue a word of caution about this since studies have shown and there have been cases of it actually doing more harm than good by irritating the nasal passages and causing even more inflammation and irritation than before, possibly leading to respiratory issues. This happened more commonly when placed under the nose, on the upper lip, so the reaction was much stronger as to for example, when you rub it on the chest. In general, I would personally avoid it on children under the age of 2 years.
These few things will suffice as a first aid kit when your kid gets the sniffles and colds but always consult your doctor in case of high fever or if symptoms get worse and you don’t see any improvement in two-three days.
What “have-to” stuff do you keep at home in case of sickness? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below.