Every household goes through it — coughs, colds, ear infections and worst of all, the dreaded bugs that take us all down, except mum of course who gets no sick days!
Here are some simple and useful ideas to make sick kids a bit easier to deal with, help them get better faster and save your sanity and your money.
1. Tap Extender
Half the battle is keeping them healthy in the first place and hand washing is a great place to start, but if you have stubby taps, you not only get a lot of mess but also inefficient hand washing. Try making a tap extender from a plastic bottle, like a body wash or moisturiser. Simply cut an X in the bottom to slide over the tap and cut off the top and one side to leave you with a ramp for the water. Also worth checking for rough edges and filing if needed.
2. DIY Electrolyte Drink
Make your own electrolyte drink using things in your fridge and pantry, instead of buying expensive ones from the pharmacy, which are basically just sugar, salt and water anyway. Try one of these recipes. We recommend using rock salt or better — do not use table (iodised) salt.
- Mix ½ cup hot water with ½ tsp salt, 2 ½ tbl sugar and 1 tsp jelly crystals (any flavour), then add 3 ½ cups of cold water and use as needed. Keeps for 3 days in fridge.
- Mix ½ glass fresh squeezed orange juice, ½ glass water and ½ tsp salt and drink, repeat as needed.
- Mix 2 cups hot water with 3 tbl lemon juice, 2 tbl sugar and ¼ tsp salt, stir, chill and serve.
3. Rice Water
Another great home remedy for upset tummies is rice water and it’s so simple to make yourself. Simply boil 2 tbl rice with 1 cup water until rice is tender and drain rice (don’t waste it of course). The remaining thick, white water is calming to upset tummies, bland and easy to drink, starchy for some energy and contains vital nutrients.
4. Grape Juice
With little tummies around your house, you’ve all probably had at least one bad stomach bug. To prevent this in the future, it helps to drink 100% grape juice. One glass a day should keep the bugs away, but during times when you know there is a bug about, increasing to 2 or 3 times a day will help keep you all healthy.
5. Splinter Remover
Do your little ones get splinters and then freak out when they see tweezers and a pin? Make splinter removal easier by making a paste of water and bicarb soda, spreading it on the affected area, then covering with a bandaid. Come back an hour later and the body should have pushed out the splinter and you will be able to just wipe it away.
6. Salt Sock
Make a salt sock to help anyone suffering with an ear infection. The minerals in the salt have healing properties and the even heat maintained by the salt creates a pressure shift in the ear. Using an ALL WHITE, 100% COTTON sock (other colours and materials may burn while heating), pour in 1 to 1 1½ cups of sea salt (not table/iodised) and tie a knot in the end. Heat in either a frying pan on low heat, turning regularly or in the microwave on 10-sec bursts, shaking in between to heat evenly. Rest the salt sock over the ear and lower jaw bone and relax for a while. You will be amazed.
7. Use permanent marker for tracking medications.
When you inevitably end up needing to give the kids antibiotics or any other regular medication, it can be hard to keep track of, but permanent marker is perfect for drawing a simple graph on the side of the bottle or box, to track days, am and pm doses and marking off when they have been given.
8. Use a dummy or baby bottle top.
If your baby or toddler is not keen on medicine, it can be made easier to take and less frightening for little ones if you use a dummy or baby bottle top. Simply draw the medicine up into a dropper and push the end of this into the underside of a dummy or baby bottle lid, then let your child suck on the other end as you squeeze the dropper bulb, they will have swallowed the medicine before they even realise it’s there.
What other great useful tips do you have for when your kids are sick?
If you become concerned about any symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention. We have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice.
SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information. All information provided is correct at time of publication.