Like puppies, many children will run circles until they fall over. Children seem indestructible, but, cold and flu viruses still come around. When this happens, treat your child like a plant by watering regularly!
In the sense of treating your child like a plant, we only recommend prioritizing hydration. Please do not spray your child with pesticides.
Prioritizing hydration is essential while your child is sick because the body needs more water while fighting illness. While sick, we lose water through sweating because of a fever, coughing, sneezing and especially vomiting or diarrhea. Any of these symptoms causes a person, child or adult, to need extra water in their daily intake. Yet, sore throats and loss of appetite often cause us (and kids even more so!) to stop eating and drinking like we should be.
Don’t worry, we won’t just convince you why your miserable child needs to be certain to drink water and leave you to struggle.
Here’s how your child can be tricked into drinking up when they just want to throw up:
- Change up the presentation. Use crazy straws, a new cup, with a spoon in a bowl, or with ice and lemon.
- Sports drinks and fruit juice can be more appealing to children than water. Dilute these with water so that your child doesn’t consume an unhealthy amount of sugar.
- Drink at intervals. Every 5 minutes, take a drink. Every 30 minutes, make sure that the glass of water is finished. Or, just ask your child to take a sip whenever another page of their favorite book is read.
- Hydration doesn’t have to happen via direct drinks, many common foods are high in water content:
- Offer fruit like watermelon, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, and pineapple. These are high in water content; watermelon are 95% water!
- Yogurt, oatmeal, beans and pasta are all more than 50% water, once cooked.
- Soups, sugar-free popsicles and gelatin (cut into cool shapes, of course) are all great ideas for a sick child.
With healthy hydration, your son or daughter should be back to causing chaos in no time. Use these tips and encourage them to drink, slowly and steadily. For specific directions or medical advice about your child, please contact your doctor. Drink up and, if you’re reading this while your child is sick, good luck!