Building Their Immunity :: Rites of Passage for Parents and How to Deal



sick kidsAre you ready?  Because it’s coming: flu, croup, hand-foot-and-mouth, and other frustrating childhood sickness.  You’ll find all moms deal with some form or another.  No child is immune.  So arm yourself.  Be ready when the sickies strike!

First and foremost: if you suspect your child is sick, call your doctor, nurse’s line, or visit the ER.  Make an appointment.  These are tips to get you to the next appointment.

  1. For anything respiratory: Hopefully a humidifier made it to your baby registry!  A humidifier adds moisture to the air that will help reduce irritation from the dry air once winter hits!  Dry air can make your baby more prone to colds and flu or other respiratory illnesses.  Keep a close eye on their breathing.  If it is at all labored, call your doctor immediately.
  2. Hand-foot-and-mouth: Gird your loins, mama.  Hand-foot-and-mouth is nothing to bat your eyes at (not hoof and mouth). You may think your child has strep or a sore throat, because they won’t want to eat…at all.  But that’s because of the sores and bumps in your child’s mouth.  Let them eat whatever they will ask for and drink anything you can get in their mouth.  Eventually, you may see bumps on their hands, feet and mouth that may turn to blisters.  You can add a 1/4 c. of baking soda to a nightly bath that will help the bumps from ever turning to blisters.  Honestly, the irritability is worse than any of the other symptoms of HFM.  On top of all this, HFM is highly contagious because it lives on surfaces for a week.  Clean up that playroom!
  3. Croup: Somewhere along the line, I read that boys are more prone to croup.  Our first case of croup showed up at 5 months, and every cold or runny nose has turned into croup since then.  Croup rears it’s ugly cough at night, and is worse on night 3.  The following nights should begin to improve.  Try to grab a few minutes in a steamy bathroom (run a hot shower and sit in the bathroom for 15-20 minutes) before bedtime.  If the cough just won’t settle in the middle of the night, another steamy shower can help do the trick.  Try a Nose Frida, or other snot sucker, to suck out the croup-causing snot. In the meantime, enjoy the extra cuddles!
  4. Fever: Make sure to follow your doctor’s guidelines for fever.  If your child has a low fever and is older than three months, it can be helpful for your child’s body to let the fever run and let your child’s body do the work.  However, if it runs together with any other symptoms you’ll want to contact your child’s doctor asap.  If your child is super-clingy during their fever, you might your own body temp unusually high–drink lots of water mama!

Don’t fret!  You WILL get through this!  It is just a season!  (Ugh.  It maybe an unusually long season with sick kids at home.  But a season nonetheless.)  We’ll be back to sun-shining days in no time!


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