Five Ideas for Looking After Your Unwell Child
Looking at my Facebook page, it’s clear to see that, once again, it’s that time of year when our children come down with all kinds of sickness and bugs.
It’s often a miserable time for everyone when a child is feeling poorly. It’s not nice to see someone you love with an illness, feeling under the weather and often upset and bored. We can help them get better with visits to the doctor and medication, but sometimes what they need most is a lot of love, attention and a little bit of magic. Ways of providing the magic is mostly down to you – you know your child’s likes/dislikes/interests better than anyone. Here are a few ideas to help cheer them up, and keep them occupied, until they feel better.
- Make a Camp or Den
Rest is one of the best things for little ones who are poorly and most children love making camps and dens – think of it as a ‘recovery nest’. Instead of getting them to stay in bed, make a tent or den in the living room. You can add pillows, blankets or a sleeping bag, glow sticks or a torch. Furnish it with some books, a bottle of water (it’s important to keep them hydrated), favourite toys, or even dressing up clothes. Recent studies suggest that people get better quicker if they are not confined to bed and are able to wear clothes instead of pyjamas. In fact some hospitals are now providing clothes for people to change into, or encouraging patients to wear clothes from home!
- Buzz Lightyear Needs a Rescue!
Most children have a favourite toy that goes everywhere with them. Surely it follows that that toy is going to feel poorly too? You could make a little (shoebox?) bed for the toy – with a blanket and a drink. They can feel poorly together. If your child is feeling up to it, get them to design a ‘get well soon’ card for their poorly toy. You could make one for your child at the same time.
- Make a ‘Beastly Bug Box’
Put together some colouring/sticker/reading books, some puzzles, a memory game or simple board game, some coloured pens or pencils and some plain paper. Include some tissues or wet wipes, a drink and a healthy snack. Put these in a box or bag that your child can keep near them. A busy child is a happy child.
- Cinema Cuddles
You know your child’s favourite films – you probably had a few of your own at their age. Find some films that you can watch together as you cuddle up. Pure joy! If your child is a little bit older, you could write a review of the film together.
- Books are the Best Medicine
A shared, relaxing and comforting activity is reading your child’s favourite books and stories to them. This is a good idea to help them rest, share some quality time with you, and will also help to build their vocabulary and language skills at the same time. Another great idea is to get hold of some audiobooks. They can be downloaded quite inexpensively and are a great way to help develop your child’s imagination, vocabulary and listening skills.
Do you have other ideas to share? Which activities do you children enjoy when they are poorly?