Keeping Sick Kids Happy – and Busy

This past week was a real doozy for us – all 5 of us got quite sick with some kind of flu or something. Thankfully though, my hubby got it first and then was well enough to care for the kids when I couldn’t move.

Caring for kids with fevers and getting them to rest is never easy, especially when they continue to be active. I think this is why it takes them so long to get well – they don’t want to rest. When the fever hit me I slept for almost 2 days straight, as did my husband, but the kids? When they had fevers (one at a time, no less) they would lie in my bed or on the couch and rest – for a while. Then as soon as the fever would go, they would be up and about, playing, coloring, etc. I just get tired thinking about it. And this is why Logan still is having fevers off and on, and why the girls are still coughing and why I’m still cleaning thick mucus from their noses.

As a child, I recall my mom sending us to bed when we had more than a cold, and making us stay. But it is hard to keep a kid in bed, no matter how sick they are. So here are a few things you may like to try the next time you have to keep your kid in bed but they aren’t so sick that they just want to be held. Note that none of these ideas are guarenteed to keep them down but they may buy you a few minutes of peace or a chance to use the toilet.

– Videos, movies, t.v.: a favorite show or movie will probably keep them down for a while. They can lie on the couch or in your bed. Use a laptop if you don’t keep a t.v. in the bedroom.

– Books: For kids who can’t read, many will be content to flip through picturebooks. If your child can read, then provied a new story that will interest them, or perhaps an old favorite.

– Coloring, drawing, dot-to-dot: Any of these kinds of activities are good. Provide a lapboard or a breakfast tray for them to use as support. And make sure the crayons/markers etc. are washable, just in case they end up on the sheets or p.j.’s.

A breakfast tray like this would be great for holding books and art supplies.

– Games: board or card games can be fun, especially if you have more than one child to occupy.

– Puzzles: use the tray for support.

– Play with dolls: dressing and undressing, fixing their hair.

– Surprising them with a small new toy, something you know they will love, may help keep them down awhile.

– If they are a little older and want to be up, an arts and crafts box at a table may keep them busy. They won’t be lying down but will still be resting.

So what are your favorite tricks for keeping sick kids happy?

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