With the temperature dropping by the day, sickness bugs and the flu are likely to make their way into schools, workplaces and your home at some point in the coming weeks.
Feeling under the weather isn’t fun for anyone, but children often feel it the worst and, because they are young, their immune system isn’t as tough so it’s a lot easier for them to catch bugs and fall ill.
Sleep has never been more important for a child than when they’re unwell, so you need to make sure they are getting plenty of rest so they can recover as quickly as possible.
This can be difficult when they have a headache, sore stomach or are constantly coughing and sneezing, so here are some little things you can do to make sleep somewhat easier for your little one when they’re feeling under the weather.
A warm bath before bed
A warm bath before bed is always a good idea because it makes blood flow easier and encourages you to breathe deeper and slower – perfect for increased relaxation.
They become even more helpful, not just for inducing sleep, but for encouraging healing when your child is feeling unwell as the warm water can kill bacteria and the steam can help loosen any congestion.
Honey and lemon drinks
Drinking a lot of fluids is important when you’re not feeling well, especially for children as they are more likely to get dehydrated than adults when they are sick.
One natural remedy for curing colds and the flu is warm water with honey and lemon. When your child is under the weather, try giving them honey to soothe the throat, lemon to help cut through congestion and water to keep them hydrated.
The one issue that may arise with this, is that children can be very particular about what they eat and drink, and lemon and honey is not exactly a delicious beverage for most, so you may need to get creative when it comes to getting them to drink this new concoction.
Stay by their side
Children often get clingier when they are under the weather as it can be quite an upsetting and daunting experience, especially if they are being physically sick for the first time, so they will want constant attention.
Although it doesn’t have any medical benefit, being by their side provides them with comfort, emotional support and a sense of security which can help them feel more relaxed and willing to fall asleep.
Prop their head up a little
An elevated sleeping position will help drain mucus away and prevent any discomfort whilst trying to get to sleep.
This is especially necessary if they have a blocked nose or a cough which keeps interrupting their sleep or is preventing them from falling asleep altogether.
Not only are bedtime stories made to help children relax and fall into a deep sleep, but it can help take their mind off their symptoms making it easier to get to sleep when they’re not feeling so well.
In fact, any distraction will help in this situation, so you can also try putting on a film or their favourite TV show until they drift off to sleep.
Modify the room temperature
Staying warm is very important when you’re poorly, especially if you have the ‘chills’ which can often make it difficult for your muscles to relax and for you to fall asleep.
Make sure that your child is relatively warm by regulating the room temperature and providing them with a thick black, if required, and a hot water bottle which will also ease discomfort, especially if they have a stomach ache.
One of the most important things you can do when your child is not feeling well is just be there for them. As mentioned in one of the points above, children require love and attention at the best of times, but when they are feeling sick, it becomes even more crucial to their well-being.
Just by being in their presence, making yourself available to them and letting them know that you are there if you need them, you will instantly make them feel a little bit better.
As always, please seek professional, medical advice when your child is not feeling well as they may be able to provide you with medicine that can help ease any symptoms and encourage your child to get some sleep.