A Dad’s Life: Waging War Against the Common Cold

For parents of young children, it’s the most unwonderful time of the year, if that is even a word. Yep, I am talking about the back to school/fall is here/cold season.

Whether it is a head cold, fever, cough or anything under the sick umbrella, odds are good one of your kids has been hit with it already.

Our two boys certainly have. For our 1-year old guy, it has kept him home from school, kept him pretty miserable and it has taken a toll on the whole family.

Now, a baby catching a cold is not entirely a bad thing. I want it to happen. It builds up tolerance and helps them avoid sickness later in life. I mean, our 4-year old rarely gets sick and if he does, it passes quick. But a sick child is hard to watch and cope with.

A common cold or fever is part of life for all of us.

Kids are going to catch a cold.

Especially if they are surrounded by those super power germs that seem to party 24/7 at most daycares.

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help your kids fight off these germs. Getting sick yourself is not one. Mom and dad are not allowed to be sick.

Fruit and Vegetables
Seems pretty obvious but nothing helps out a cold or fighting off a fever, than a healthy dose of fruit and veg. Now, I get it, many kids are not going to eat the green stuff. Get sneaky. Hide it however you can. Luckily, in our house, fruit is pretty popular. When a cold hits our kids, the fruit intake gets increased dramatically. Those fruit cups in the gel do the trick always. If it is soft, juicy and cold, it will feel great on a sore throat. Plus it is a form of hydration.

Keep Hands and Face Clean – Kids wear snot on their face like a badge of honour and it is our job to fight with them to wipe it off. But keeping the face clean and hands washed will go a long way in fighting off a cold or getting one in the first place. We all know cleanliness should be an all the time thing, but come on, we do our best. Go that extra mile in a time of sickness and it will keep from one kid passing it to the next.

Sleep and More Sleep – Kids need a lot of sleep at the best of times, so it makes sense that they need even more when under the weather. As a parent, let them sleep as much as possible. If it means they are late for daycare, so be it. Also, if possible, don’t interrupt those naps. Last week, our baby boy was pulling in 18-19 hours of doze time in a day. Hey the body wants what the body wants.

TLC – That’s tender loving care, not the girl band. All kids turn into babies when they are sick. So go with it. Nurture them. Give them extra snuggles. Do whatever it takes to keep them calm and content. Last week, I had our 4-year old in bed with me all night, because it made him feel better. Who can argue with that right?

Magic Potion (Advil)
– Yes, of course, I can’t forget the drugs. Advil for us is a wonder drug. We don’t like to turn to it often, but when needed, it does everything except tuck your baby into bed. Advil has certainly been a popular drink order over the past 10 days at our house. Maybe we do need that Costco membership after all?

Now, I am not a doctor, so everything I say is just my opinion or what I hear Dr. Oz saying, but I am a dad, so I like to think I have battle field experience when it comes to snot and sick kids.

That being said, it never hurts to get professional help. So go to your family doctor or walk-in clinic, even if it is for reassurance.

Finally, to all those tired parents missing work and finding dirty tissues all over the house, God Speed, things do get better.

Michael is a marketing manager by day, who has been at the blogging thing for almost a decade. Father of two, husband to one and griller to the Gods. Read more about his parental adventures, including his current stint on parental leave on his blog, Like A Dad.

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