Kids are little germ balls. FACT.
I like to think that before I started teaching and had my own kids, I had a pretty good immune system. Then, when surrounded by children with questionable hygiene habits, dripping noses and who loved to cough all over me, it took a nose dive, and I was picking up cold after cold after cold.
With three kids aged five and under, our house is often a sniffly one. Child number one picks up a cold from school and passes it on to child number two. Child number two infects child number three and before I know it, we are drowning in a sea of snot. By the time the last person is recovered, the first one has it all over again. I am yearning for the day where there are five completely healthy people in our house. I’m sure it will happen some day in the next 18 years.
Dealing with snot and sniffles, tears and temperatures on a regular basis means that Graham and I are pretty nifty at finding ways to make the poorly one (or three!) a little bit more comfortable. Children can be hard work at the best of times, but even more so when they are tired, miserable and feeling under the weather. It’s in everyone’s best interests to get them back to their usual perky selves as quickly as possible.
Dealing with Snot and Sniffles
Keep them warm and cosy – snuggled up under a blanket on the sofa (but not too snuggly – keep an eye on that temperature which can spike pretty quickly!) is a fail-safe way of making them feel a little bit less rubbish.
Extend those boundaries – have screen time limits? Forget them. If they feel naff and want to zombie in front of Peppa Pig all day, let them. If they want to watch Ryan’s Egg Surprise on You Tube on repeat, let them. It won’t hurt them for a day or so. When I was poorly a couple of weeks ago a day of binge watching Game of Thrones took my mind off it and made me feel a little bit better.
Vicks Vapo Rub – this stuff is magical, I swear. The smell reminds me of being a kid ad having a tissue with it on next to me when I was poorly. Apparently, if you put it on the bottom of the feet and put socks on it works. When the kids were in cots, I would put a bit in a bowl of hot water under their cot. The scented steam helped them with blocked noses and coughs!
Rest and cuddles – this is definitely the most important. I’m pretty sure cuddles have been scientifically proven to make everyone feel better!
Vicks did some research into British parents and what they thought were the most common home remedies for colds and coughs. They found that:
- 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
They also looked into how parents keep their kids entertained when they’re poorly. Our preferred method is lots of movies and reading together. One of our favourite books to read together is ‘The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep’ – because it actually works. Benjamin is a sleep fighter, but a couple of pages in…BAM…sleep!
The Vicks research found that 1 in 10 parents get really creative; either telling jokes (8%) or even do magic (2%). My jokes and attempts at magic would probably make them feel even worse, but I think even I could manage the banana trick, and hopefully put a smile on their faces.
What are your tips for dealing with snot and sniffles?
*This post is an entry for the Britmums #VicksTricks campaign.