It’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted. (interruption from small, sick child who needs to be hydrated) And that’s the reason why.

I have been stuck with sick. It began with C and a short-lived bug just before Easter, followed up with a weird high-fever one-day stomach bug with A the next week, followed by full-blown nasty, horrible sick starting on April 27. It’s now 10 days later.

Actually…now it’s 12 days later because my sick kids and sick husband wouldn’t let me finish writing. But, it’s good to be needed, right? (Okay, pep talk over). And fingers crossed I will finish this post today…because A still has not gone 24-hours without a fever, which means he’s still home from school today…

…And lucky day 13…here we go!!! Hahaha. Sob.

C’s fever lasted 7 days. And this was no low-grade fever. We were battling temps of 103 even with Motrin and Tylenol in her system. Constant throwing up accompanied the fever, making this sickness extra special.

I took her to the pediatrician on Day 5. That same morning, her brother started throwing up.

OMGeeeeeeee…

6-yr-old C was down to only 35 lbs. and the doctor was worried about her. The doc put some good fear into my son, who began drinking Gatorade and water in the doctor’s office with a determination I’d only previously seen at the ice rink.

I left the office with a plan of action for getting more fluids in C…which quickly failed.

This child’s strength will serve her well one day. In the meantime, it’s just a giant pain in the arse. She refused EVERYTHING the doctor suggested.

So, I did what I always do – asked for advice from friends and family who know WAY more than I do.

I got some pretty amazing ideas and thought they might help you some day. This is a post you’ll want to share to your timeline so you can easily find it when desperation hits.

And just to CMA, let me remind you, I’m not a doctor nor do I claim to be a medical professional. Actually, I wholeheartedly embrace that I am a hot mess of a mom who does not know everything. Thus, I am simply passing along a list of better-mom-than-me proven options to try when you find yourself with a stubborn child who needs fluids. You should never rely on this list in lieu of seeking medical attention and blah, blah, blah – more legal mumbo jumbo. And let me be crystal clear that I was trying these ideas within a 2-day doctor-provided window for improvement before taking C to the hospital for fluids. If your child is NOT improving, GO TO THE HOSPITAL. We good?

Step 1: Make Them Comfortable

Your child will have a difficult time consuming fluids and keeping them down if they are burning up with a fever. Effective better-mom-than-me suggestions beyond the traditional Tylenol, Motrin and cool washcloth, include:

  • Ice packs on the back of their neck, under their armpits or between their thighs. Wrap it in a thin cloth and it really helps cool them off. The ice packs get warm surprisingly fast, so ideally have a couple rotating.
  • Lay down a cool cotton sheet on the couch. Not only does this help prevent germy germs from settling in your cushions, it’s much cooler for them than whatever fabric the couch is made from.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – in a lukewarm bath or rolled (with a diluting oil) on the bottom of their feet. This was, like, the last thing I tried…so it was likely a combination of everything working together – but IT WORKED. It helped bring their fever down. So, yeah – Peppermint Essential Oil will be an essential part of my fever treatment moving forward.
  • If your child can’t stop throwing up – Zofran is pretty impressive. This was my first time using it, and while it took two doses for C to stop – she did stop. This was a critical step in getting her rehydrated, so be sure to ask your doctor if this medicine can help your child.
  • Diffuse a calming essential oil. Nothing quite fills the air like the smell of throw up, so combat it by diffusing an essential oil around the clock. Pick something soothing. I diffused “On Guard” to help clean the air, but anything that smells nice works!

Step 2: Get Them Fluids

Before I sought advice, I tried Pedialyte, Pedialyte Pops, Otter Pops, Gatorade, Apple Juice, Applesauce, Sprite, Jell-O, Sherbet (including sherbet floats) and of course, ice and water. Here’s a list of the more innovative suggestions I received from family and friends!

  • Cool Cups: Try something that will excite your child to drink out of – a wine glass, crazy straw, sippy cup (if they’re past that point) or even a baby bottle. I did not have a baby bottle to try, but the sippy cup did help. I also tried fancy glasses, and even added her favorite – blackberries – to the pedialyte to make it look like a blue cocktail.
  • Commercial Sip: Fill a water bottle (squeeze kind) with whatever fluid your child will drink and then make a game of giving them ONE SIP every commercial. Those sips add up quick!
  • Sno Cones: One of my friends has a little sno cone machine that she pours pedialyte over. This sounded like a cool idea! I didn’t go there though, based on the tiny child’s reaction to EVERY VARIETY OF PEDIALYTE WE TRIED. Clearly, my kid is not part of their Kid-Approved Taste Test.
  • Ginger Ale: This advice was given to me by a couple friends! I can’t stand the stuff – but apparently, it tastes as good coming up as it does going down. And that’s important when you have the flu.
  • Kool-Aid: Every kid loves Kool-Aid! Why didn’t I just give it to her? Because I was all “You have to consume super healthy things to get better!” But any fluids are better than no fluids.
  • Watermelon: Makes sense! This fruit is 92 percent water and 6 percent sugar, perfect for perking up a sick kiddo!
  • Pickles: These are loaded with electrolytes! Who Knew!?! My cousin suggested that even if she wouldn’t eat them, we could do an “art project” with pickle stamps and the first step is to suck the juices out of them. I never would have thought of this!
  • Shot of Fluids: Use a baby Tylenol syringe to administer fluids one tiny bit at a time. This is also an excellent way to track exactly how much your child is getting/keeping down!
  • Broth: I learned Herb OX broth is what many hospitals offer, and it’s available at local stores.
  • Canned Fruit Juice: This makes so much sense – but, of course, I never thought about it. C is always trying to drink the syrupy juice out of her fruit cups. My friend said it does wonders for a sick child.

 I did not get to try all of these because as soon as I found something that worked, I stuck with it. For me, it was the Commercial Sip. But who knows what it will be next time. There’s some real comfort in having this long list of options when the time comes.

Have an awesome idea not already included? PUH-LEASE share it in the comments – I need as much help as I can get!

Much Love, H

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