“Do less. Stimulate less. Speak less. Eat less.”
“Drink more. Sleep more. Rest more. Breathe more.”
- Stop your daily routine and encourage your child, and your family members, to rest.
- Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your child to process the illness.
- Encourage plenty of fluids (water, tea, broth, soup, breast milk). If your child is on formula, you may need to either stop the formula completely, or feed fewer ounces through the illness.
- Turn the volume down. Reduce activity levels, noise, excitement, schedules, chores, and tasks to a minimum.
- Turn the lights down. Maintain a calm, quiet, peaceful environment for your child’s nervous system to heal.
- Stay indoors; play quiet games. Going outside can be too much of an energetic overload for your child’s body when sick, and may prolong and intensify the stress on his body.
- Give your child a warm bath, several times per day if necessary, and stay with your child as much as possible. Lay low, and watch your child closely. Be mindful of cool or cold drafts when getting out of the bath.
- Regarding supplements, it is best to stop most, if not all of the supplements that your child is taking. You will need to use your judgment in making this decision.
- Do not force your child to eat. When children are sick or not feeling well, their digestive systems slow down. Food is one of the last things children are interested in when they have a fever or don’t feel well. Just ensure fluid intake, and don’t push foods. Their bodies will tell you when they are ready to start eating again. And, most importantly, avoid sugar, including juices, flour and dairy products, and fried foods, when your child is sick, as these foods tend to increase stress, dehydration, and mucus production in the body, which will prolong, or worsen, the course of illness.
- Observe your child for mental status changes.
- Please remember that the resolution of illness can take some time. The more patience you have, the more closely you observe your child, and the more you efficiently remove the stressors in your child’s environments, the greater you will impact the length of recovery for your child’s illness.
- You may need to cancel plans, stay home, and not participate in previously planned activities so your child can rest and heal at home in her own comfortable, safe environment. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to provide your child with a safe environment in which healing can occur.
- Make the first day your child feels better a slow day. Stay home and rest for the first 24 hours that the symptoms of illness have finally abated. Try not to rush back into the daily routine of life.