Helping a sick pre-schooler

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Tuesday was a little rough on me and a lot rough on my three year old.

In the morning, we were chatting in the car on the way to my oldest’s school about how we have all been dealing with a mild cold the past few days. Really, we had it good. It was a walk-in-the-park cold all around.

Fast forward to noon when she began vomiting, which then turned projectile, then dry heaving because, frankly, there was nothing left to come out. It was already all over the bathroom.

Tips for Heliping a sick pre-schooler

original photo credit: © pogonici on Fotolia

Now my daughter can be a little tough to read and she isn’t forthcoming when something hurts. Not only that, but she is at the age where she knows something is wrong, but she doesn’t have all of the words to talk to me about it.

Today was a lesson in asking alternative questions so that I could help her feel comfortable.

Stay Calm

When she began throwing up, she was scared and crying. I told her that she was okay, and even though it was yucky, it was a good thing her body was throwing up. As violent as it looks, it is a protective mechanism. It’s the stomach’s way of getting rid of something that may be potentially harmful, and there is only one way out.

Address Common Worries

I could tell that she thought she was in trouble for making a mess. I told her that it was okay, and I wasn’t mad. That it was just important that she throw up and that we would give her a shower after and I would clean everything up.

Ask Alternative or Indirect Questions

“Are you still sick?” is a tough question to answer for some kids. They may be comparing how they feel at that moment to how they felt the moment they were throwing up so the answer would be ‘no’ in comparison, but they don’t know to tell you that they are still feeling ill.

Think of new ways to ask your questions. After my daughter’s shower, I felt her forehead and thought she might have a fever. I asked if she felt hot. No response. So I asked if she wanted me to dress her in shorts, or a sweater. She asked for a sweater. Then I asked if she wanted a blanket. She said yes.

Be Prepared

I wrote a cold checklist post about keeping supplies on hand for when colds and sickness strike. In this case, some Gravol Childrens Liquid followed by pedialyte, and kids Tylenol helped out after her body was done throwing up.

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Sheri Landry
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.
Found in Health & Wellness, Kids, Winter