Tag Archives: colds

Health: Making sick days better #VicksTricks

It’s February and we are slap bang in the middle of cold season; not that there’s ever really a time when you can’t catch a cold. With school being like it is – a festering swamp of germs. Bugs, viruses and colds can knock a whole class out for weeks at a time and kids are having sick days left, right and centre!

Inevitably the kids bring home germs and the whole family goes down. Whilst we make every effort not to take any unnecessary time off school and work, sometimes a sick day is what you need to knock the bug on the head. 

As a parent, the problem with sick days is that you don’t want them to be too much fun, you don’t want to give the idea that being at home is more fun than being at school, but you still want to be able to offer comfort and care to your child.

Health: Making sick days better #VicksTricks

The boy has had thankfully very few sick days off school. But when he has I always make sure he’s warm and comfortable. Snuggled on the sofa under a blanket is fairly standard. He might watch TV for a while, or do some colouring or work his way through an activity book. We will often read to each other and we will always have as many cuddles as he wants or needs. It’s a difficult balance to strike between keeping him entertained but not making it too exciting, so he won’t want more fun sick days at home.

In terms of looking after him when a cold hits, I let him drink as much water or watered down fruit juice as he wants. He’s not yet discovered the comforting hug in a mug a hot cordial can be, but that will come. If he’s suffering he can have some paracetamol medicine, and I encourage him to just keep blowing his nose. If he’s snuffly and coughing at night, the old trick of Vicks Vaporub on the feet really helps.

Interestingly Vicks have done some research into how parents cope with colds and bugs within their families –

• Over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better
• This was followed by ‘medicine’, which 40% of parents rely on
• More than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC

And when it comes to keeping children entertained: 

• Three out of four (75%) British parents put on the TV or a DVD
• Over a quarter (27%) read to their children
• 1 in 10 parents get really creative; either telling jokes (8%) or even do magic tricks (2%)

Of course prevention is always better than a cure. We are big on hand washing and trying to avoid getting the bugs in the first place. At the first sign of a cold, we adults start taking zinc supplements and praying for mercy. We’ve recently discovered Vicks First Defence. You spray it up your nose a few times a day at the first sign of a cold. It helps to stop the cold bugs in their tracks. 

Health: Making sick days better #VicksTricks

I admit to being a little skeptical, but last week I woke up with a tickly throat and reached for the Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray. It was easy to use and I used it for a couple of days and it really did seem to stop the cold in its tracks. I just don’t have the time to be fighting bugs, so this will be part of my bug battle armoury from now on. 

This post is an entry for the BritMums #VicksTricks campaign.

Sniffles & Snuffles

Poorly Splodge

Poorly Splodge

Aw look, look at that beautiful new baby in your arms. Isn’t it cute, it’s perfect in every way. Fresh as a daisy and twice as cute. Savour that. Enjoy your maternity leave too, those are the golden days. Have you found a nursery yet? Somewhere fantastic for your perfect, unspoilt child to spend its days learning, playing, creating, getting messy and having fun. Have you?

What no one tells you, ok they may tell you, but you’ll fail to grasp the horror of it fully until it happens. What no one tells you is that your perfect baby will go to nursery and bring you back little gifts. How sweet. How generous. Not so.

The minute your bundle of joy starts mixing with other children, properly mixing, not just clapping hands in a circle at baby singing class, but full on 8 hours a day, they become industrial germ breeding machines. Their first six months at nursery will be spent with a runny nose, runny bum, the vomits and anything else that passes through. Our nursery is currently advising that D&V, Chicken Pox, Slapped Cheek and head lice are stalking the corridors and one child has been hospitalised with suspected viral meningitis, so we’ve all had alerts about that. It’s non-stop. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

As for me, I have thalessaemia which can mean I’m more susceptible to picking up bugs. But for those first six months after the bliss of maternity leave I was intolerably ill. Hacking coughs, stomach bugs, cold after cold after cold and the final straw, tonsillitis. I hardly slept those first six months.

It did get better, he’s built up a small amount of immunity now and he’s old enough to tell me how he feels and what hurts. This week he’s got a cough, cold and two burst eardrums. He’s got glue ear so we’re used to it, but the leakage from the bursts is gross. I won’t dwell but it’s gross.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the very bones of that boy and each time he gets ill I get the bonus of extra snuggles and cuddles. To be fair it’s not just germs he brings back, he toddles in clutching his finest works of art, biscuits and cakes he’s made and lovely little gifts like a flower he’s picked just for me. Those are the best gifts, and for that we’ll happily put up with all the germs he can throw at us and tell ourselves he’s busy building some immunity for when he goes to big school.

So as your perfect baby sleeps in your arms and you start to prepare to return to work, make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked, bulk buy tissues, get your vitamins down you, eat your greens and prepare for germ warfare. You’re welcome.