It’s not fun when you are woken up in the middle of the night to your child vomiting or asking you to take their temperature. When the thermometer reads 102 degrees and the stomachache won't quit, you know what’s coming: a sick day. These days don’t have to be all fuss and fight though, even if you’re the one that caught the bug. Here is IKO Community Management’s guide to tackling sick days:
When your child is sick…
Take your own “sick day.” Many companies provide their employees with a specific number of days to take care of their sick child. Since unpaid leave is very low-cost for employers, some companies let parents use their sick days to take care of their kids, so discuss your options. While you’re calling in sick for work, make sure you also call the daycare or school to let them know about your child’s absence.
Be prepared. Make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked before your child catches a fever or stomach bug. The best place to store medications is in an area without moisture, humidity or heat that is also away from children. Try using a high shelf in the linen closet or kitchen to keep your medications fresh and out of your children’s reach. When purchasing items, feel free to use this handy list:
- For chicken pox, make sure you have an anti-itch topical ointment or hydrocortisone cream, cotton balls and Q-tips. If your child does scratch their skin, use antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin, and adhesive bandages to help the healing process.
- For a seasonal cold, have cough and cold medicine nearby. Also rub petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, on your child’s lips and underneath their nose to help prevent cracking from sneezing and coughing.
- To test for the flu, make sure you have a non-mercury and non-glass thermometer close by. (Skip out on the ear thermometer because most readings are inaccurate.) If your child’s temperature is above average, have them take acetaminophen or ibuprofen with water to reduce the fever and relieve aches and pains. Do not mix the two medications, especially in children.
Be smart. When your child gets sick, your mom instincts kick into full throttle. However, try to stay calm when it comes to taking care of your ill child. Don’t buy every medication, especially bottles labeled “for kids.” Most adult medications have directions for users of all ages, but consult a doctor if you have any questions. Remember to toss out any medicine passed the expiration date (especially prescription medications such as asthma treatments) or if it has changed color or smell.
If you get sick…
Call in the reinforcements. As a parent, you’re practically Superman, but when you come down with a cold, you need a little assistance with everyday tasks. After you call into work sick, ask your significant other or a trusted friend if they wouldn’t mind picking up the kids from school, practice or daycare. You can also ask your kids for help around the house. Every little bit helps.
Treat yourself. Just because you’re sick doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little downtime. Take some medicine then buy an on-demand movie, catch up on some sleep or order pizza for dinner. The more you take care of yourself, the sooner you’ll be back in full parent mode.
Prepare yourself: Part 2. While you’ve stocked your medicine cabinet with essentials, make sure you’re also washing your hands diligently and showering. Throw any sheets and pillows you’ve slept on into the laundry and Lysol all of the furniture. (This goes for when your kids get sick, too.) You can save the family some sick days just by being careful and sanitary.
You know your child and your body best, so when it comes to using up your sick days, trust your intuition. If you do decide that staying home or seeing a doctor is what’s best, make sure you’re prepared, sanitary and smart.
From all of us at IKO Community Management, have a healthy summer.