Parenting: When you have to play nurse - Evewoman


Parenting: When you have to play nurse

sick child

One cold after another. The rainy season is here with us and chances of children getting a cold are high.

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Prevention is better than cure - children in a family with a smoker tend to have more colds and more chest complications than others. If you smoke, giving it up will improve the health of the whole family. Having a healthy diet with lots of fresh foods and vitamins will help your child’s health and improve her resistance to illness.

Once your child has a cold, the best you can do is to treat the symptoms and wait for it to go away. If your child is younger than three months or you suspect complications such as a chest or ear infection, consult your doctor.

She has got a cough? If it persists for more than a week or it seems to be causing a lot of trouble, consult your doctor. Children may also develop a chesty cough as a complication of a cold or one of the childhood illnesses such as measles. If she has a rattling cough and is unwell and feverish you should consult a doctor.

5 tips to help you cope

1. Don’t feel you have to keep your child in bed unless your doctor says it’s necessary. Most ill children will want more rest and sleep than usual but all you need to do is keep her bed neat and ready for those extra naps.

2. She may want to be cuddled and carried for most of her waking hours. She may be frightened and upset. This is time-consuming for you but she will probably recover faster if you keep her happy and give her the extra comfort and cuddles she needs.

3. If your child has a raised temperature, give her plenty to drink. You can use a variety of diluted juices, milk, water, milkshakes and so on if she will take them.

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4. If you’re breast-feeding, you may find yourself giving lots of extra feeds a day but this won’t last long. If you are bottle-feeding, your baby may want smaller amounts more often so be flexible and bear with her. A toddler who has lost interest in bottles may well want one again for the comfort it gives and that special comfort toy or blanket will be much in demand.

5. Your child will probably lose her appetite. Give her plenty to drink and offer small, colourful easy-to-manage meals. Don’t press her to eat if she doesn’t want to. Her appetite will return when she feels better.

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