Tips for First-Time Parents on Caring for Your Sick or Injured Child

child care

If there were a way to keep your kids in a bubble so they never get harmed or sick most parents would jump at the opportunity. However, the truth is, no matter how much you want to protect your kids, there is always a possibility that they could end up sick or hurt. Germs and bacteria roam freely at daycare centers and elementary schools causing all types of illnesses while a trip to the park or playing sports could result in an injury. The best thing you can do when your kid is sick or injured is nursing them back to health. Below, are a few suggestions on how to do this. 

Assess the Situation

 The first thing you want to do is assess the situation to determine the severity. If you notice your newborn seems to be running warm and isn’t eating much, this could be the sign of an illness coming on. If they’re vomiting or won’t keep anything down, it is something more severe that needs immediate medical attention. On the other hand, if your kid comes in from playing outside with a scratch on their arm you can patch that up with some ointment and a bandage. If they broke their leg, got burned, twisted, or pulled a muscle then they may need further treatment. 

Decide if They Need to See a Doctor

There are certain red flags that let you know right away that your child needs to see a doctor. If their fever is over 102 degrees for more than a few hours despite providing them with medication, they may need to see a doctor. If they fell down and are suddenly having a hard time applying pressure on their arm or leg, they need emergency services. If this is the case, immediately contact their primary care physician or take them to the local hospital. 

Follow the Doctor’s Orders

At your doctor or hospital visit, your child will be evaluated, tested, and diagnosed. No matter what the diagnosis is, it is imperative to their well-being and fast recovery that you follow the instructions provided by the doctors. Whether this means filling prescriptions, sticking to a certain diet, or going for surgery. 

Home Comfort

After your child has been seen by the doctor (if it was deemed necessary) it’s your turn to pitch in to help them get better. It will be important to try and make their home environment as comfortable as possible. Below are a few tips to make the space comfortable for your child:

  • Clean the Room – An unkempt room can make it challenging for your child to heal, especially if they have a sickness. Their immune systems are already weak and the dust, bacteria, germs, and other items present can exacerbate their symptoms. Clean the room from top to bottom. Change the linens. Clean hard surfaces with bleach or other disinfectant cleaners. Lastly, if possible, open the windows to allow some fresh air in. Also, be sure to clean common areas like the bathroom and kitchen frequently so no one else gets sick.
  • Comfy Clothes – A sick kid is also an irritable kid. Meaning everything can get on their nerves fairly quick. This includes the clothes they have on. Try to find some comfortable pajamas for them to wear. Also, if they need specialized clothing like AFO socks after getting surgery, be sure to have those on hand as well. 
  • Right Temperature – Keeping the room at a comfortable temperature is also ideal. As your child is sick the temperature may need to fluctuate. If they’re suffering from the flu with a high fever, for example, they may want the room cooler. But if they’re dealing with a cold and feel chills, they may want the room to be warmer. 
  • Healthy Food – Their bodies are fighting to heal and you can best help it by making sure they’re eating healthy. If there are strict diet instructions from your doctor, be sure to follow that advice. Otherwise, feeding them things high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and protein are all beneficial for helping them to recover faster. 
  • TLC – At the end of the day your little one doesn’t like being sick. As a result, they may be a bit more clingy to mom and dad. Try to understand and provide them with some extra tender, love, and care. You can cuddle with them (as long as they’re not contagious), read them a book, get them water, watch television with them, or just sit in the room so they’re not alone. 

No parent wants to hear the news that their child is sick or injured, but it’s a common occurrence and a fact of life. The best thing you can do for your children when things like this arise is to stay calm and follow the advice above. In doing so you make sure they get the best care possible which enhances their healing process. It won’t be long before they’re back to their happy, jovial selves.