Keeping Sick Kids Quiet

Nothing is quite as sad as a miserable, sick child. Whether they have bronchitis, the flu or strep throat, it is hard to keep them comfortable while they are really sick. Antibiotics and fever reducers go a long way in making children comfortable during the height of their symptoms. However, just as you breathe a sigh of relief that your child is on the mend, they begin to resist sitting still and staying quiet while their body fully recovers.

Very sick children are generally content to sleep or stay in bed watching movies between brief naps. When they start to feel better, however, it’s a different story. If they have had something like a 24-hour stomach bug, it’s fine to let them resume normal activity as soon as they can. With other, more prolonged illnesses they need a few days of quiet before rejoining their active lives. This can be easier said than done. Try these tricks to keep your child quietly entertained while they finish their recovery.

The power of the bath

A child can never be too clean. If your child is restless, the bath tub is a great place to keep them busy and contained. Also, some extended play in a warm tub is often conducive to a nap afterwards. Let your child blow bubbles, use bath tub crayons and paints, or even just let him have a bunch of kitchen utensils and create his own fun. It is amazing how long a child can pay with a funnel and a few measuring cups. You can also try giving him a bowl with about 1 cup of corn starch in it. Show him how to add a little bit of water at a time and make an awesome goo that washes right down the drain when he’s done!

Quiet creations

Give your child a bunch of old white or light colored socks, yarn, googly eyes (if over age 3), markers and fabric scraps and show him how to make his own sock puppets. With very young children, you will have to help with scissors and glue. With older children let them be as creative as they feel like getting.

For a child who really does need to be IN bed invest in a box of aluminum foil. Show him how you can make big and tiny shapes and how they can be joined together. Your child can create jewelry, crowns, animals, buildings and people. It’s new, it’s novel (unless your family regularly plays with foil) and it’s recyclable!

Quiet learning

If you have a laptop or I-pad, allow your child free reign while he recovers. Show him the sites he is free to visit and let him play and learn. Use a timer if you know it’s going to be a struggle to get your child to give up the electronics.

Another option is to use audio-books to keep a child engaged. Many kids love listening to stories with a notebook and some crayons or colored pencils to use to illustrate what they are hearing. There are hundreds of choices. Wind in the Willows, stories narrated by Jim Weiss and the Hank the Cow-Dog series are fun and well-read.

It won’t be long until your child is well and running around again. In the meantime, get creative and even break some rules if you must.

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