Friday, February 25, 2011

Kids Need Sick Time

I'm fortunate to have a husband who has a lot of sick time at his job in the public school system.  He can take something like 15 sick days per year.

I'm not sure how much sick time the average kid needs in a year, but I am pretty sure that it's good for our kids when we parents and caregivers let our kids have time to be sick.

Every kid gets sick.  Every kid needs time to recover from being sick.  This can be a challenge for parents who work and have limited sick time themselves.  It can also be a challenge for parents who are sick and have to take care of their sick children.  Even parents who are healthy and available can find it challenging to change their routine, set aside their busy schedules, and care for a sick child (or children).

Nevertheless, giving our kids time at home to rest, drink fluids, and recuperate is better for their long-term health.  And don't forget the importance of emotionally supporting and encouraging our kids when they are sick.  I don't mean coddling a faker, but I do mean building up your relationship with your children by comforting and cuddling with them when they're sick.  Show them that you care about how they feel and that you are here to care for them no matter what.

Kids forced back into their active daily lives before they've had a chance to recover are more likely to develop secondary infections like ear infections and bronchitis.  They are more likely to need antibiotics.  They are also likely to take longer to recover and may get sick again sooner.

Plus, kids who are still recovering from illness may still be contagious.  Sending a sick kid to school and other social settings may expose other kids and adults, some of whom suffer from weakened immune systems.

So take it easy on kids when they're sick.  Let them rest up and recover so they can face the world again in good health.

Questions for Thought/Discussion:
What do you find most challenging about taking care of sick kids?  What are some tricks or tips you've learned that have helped you through caring for sick kids?

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