How to Stay Healthy While Caring for a Sick Child

January 14, 2015
illness prevention

How to Stay Healthy While Caring for a Sick Child
With germs hopping around day cares, playgroups and classrooms, it's virtually inevitable your child will catch a cold or the flu. When they do, you want to provide tender loving care, without falling victim yourself. While it may sound impossible, you can minimize your chances of getting sick while caring for a sick loved one by following these practical illness prevention steps.
Wash Hands
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), parents commonly forget to wash their hands while caring for sick children. This results in millions of dollars in lost work time every year. To reduce your risk of contracting your child's illness, wash your hands after every interaction. You should also regularly wash your child's hands to make sure he or she isn't spreading germs onto household items.
Disinfect Your House
It may seem like a time-consuming endeavor, but a strong commitment to disinfecting will save you hours of missed work time. The CDC recommends that parents use hand sanitizers or hot water and soap to clean toys, doorknobs and other commonly used household items. You should also wash your child's bedding in hot water and replace their toothbrushes once they're feeling well.
Get Vaccinated
You can drastically reduce your chances of contracting influenza by getting vaccinated. Generally, it's best to before the flu season hits its high point.
Practice Prevention
If your child is diagnosed with the flu and you aren't showing any symptoms, you can ask your doctor about taking Tamiflu or another anti-viral medication in a preventative dose to reduce your chances of catching the virus.
Set Limitations
It may sound harsh, but your can significantly limit the spread of germs by quarantining certain parts of the home. Make the kitchen off limits, especially since this room plays host to food and beverages. If you have more than one bathroom, reserve one for your sick child and make the others off limits. This can be an especially good strategy if you have more than one child in the household.
Playing it Smart
Just about every parent wants to provide tender loving care for their sick children. With that said, by taking smart, proactive steps, you can provide your child with the care he or she needs without overexposing yourself to their germs.

Mother and daughter happy at the beach
Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!
Hamden, CT
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