The Mommy Chronicles: Two Truths about Sickness Moms Should Know
When I’m wearing flip-flops in December, I tend to forget that the upcoming months leading to spring tend to be the ones where my family deals with the most sickness. Growing up, I was always told that staying indoors and “just going to bed” are two remedies that help little people bounce back the quickest. Now a mom myself, I’ve decided to look into both of these remedies, to see what health professionals and parenting experts have to say.
It is Okay to Go Outside
When it’s unbearably cold outside, it is easy to succumb. You convince your children that warm food and drink, along with a family movie night, are way more fun than playing outside.
Goodness knows, nothing comes from telling them they will get sick from the cold – other than upset faces and tears. For moms like me, with a four-year-old who lives to be outside, digging holes and playing “construction” for hours and hours, it is especially tough. I allow my son to go outside – and he returns, his face like a cube of ice.
I find myself cringing inside, silently planning which days to take off from work in preparation of the dreaded cough I’m sure will come. But these playground visits in the cold, or snow day activities in the backyard are not the cause of our children’s standard colds. Germs are. And according to the FDA’s website, the best treatment is letting it ride.
According to FDA Pediatrician Dr. Amy Taylor, there’s not much we, as parents, can do (save for chicken soup and TLC).
“There is no cure for the common cold. A cold is self-limited, and most patients will get better on their own in a week or two without needing medications,” Taylor said. “For older children, some OTC Medicines can help relieve the symptoms – but won’t change the natural course of the cold, or make it go away faster.”
So, the next time school is cancelled for snow and ice? Just bundle everyone up and set time limits on outside play. It’s okay, mama!
Resting can Build the Immune System
Okay moms, you know this is true: Sometimes, bedtime can be a battle – especially the younger your children are. While your doctor may tell you that eight or nine hours of sleep is great for mamas, your pediatrician may tell you that your young child needs anywhere between 11 and 13 hours of sleep each night.
Is anyone able to do this? In the chaos of the typical family’s schedule, it can be hard for us to remember that full days of school, paired with extra-curricular activities, equate to tired nights for our little people. This, of course, results in more whining and shorter attention spans.
But sometimes, just as we keep going, if we don’t intervene, our children will too. According to an article on Parenting.com, children, like adults, produce cytokines (proteins) in their sleep. These proteins aid in fighting illnesses and help build strong immune systems.
What does this mean? Resting is good for yet another reason. It also means that if your little person does not have a concrete bedtime, it may just be the time to put a process in place that will not only make their next day better because of a good night’s sleep, but will hopefully prevent sickness when it tries to creep in and ruin everyone’s day.