February 15, 2010 in Features

TLC keeps spirits up during child’s illness

Donna Erickson
 
King Features photo

A favorite toy can share the pain. King Features
(Full-size photo)

If a flu or cold bug has invaded your house this winter, you know firsthand how the family routine is instantly thrown out of sync. All it takes is one sick child on a weekday morning, and the telephone is abuzz as you frantically rearrange work schedules and piano lessons, request homework assignments and try desperately to find the pediatrician’s phone number. But once the initial crisis has passed, and your child starts perking up, it’s nice to offer unqualified TLC to cheer him up.

Here are some get-well ideas:

•Misery loves company. Dress up and accessorize your child’s favorite teddy bear using items that show he also is feeling under the weather: a compress on his forehead; a snuggly sweater to keep warm; a small, cuddly plush toy to hold in his paw; and a special book to read over and over.

•Serve snacks and simple meals to your child in a muffin tin. Place the juice cup and food items in the individual compartments for an easy-to-handle meal.

•As your child’s appetite improves, tempt the taste buds beyond chicken noodle soup and soda crackers. Make simple menus on index cards that include a variety of healthy foods to choose from.

Leave a space after each item and let your child check off the choices of juice, cereal, pasta, fruit, etc.

•If your child orders toast or a sandwich, turn it into a smiling face by cutting the edges to form a circle. Arrange raisins, banana slices and pretzels on top to make the face.

If your child has chickenpox, humor him with a few red-hot candies dotting the portrait.

Health Tip: When your child must cough, teach him to bend his arm in front of him toward the opposite shoulder. Then cough into the crease of his arm at the elbow.

Donna Erickson is the author of several books about family activities and host of a public television series. See more at www.donnasday.com


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