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Blog: Balancing Thrifty And Fun

This blog will ramble on about raising two boys while working full time as an editor for ThriftyFun. I'm really lucky in so many ways. I have a loving, hardworking husband, a not too heavily mortgaged home, and two healthy and bright boys. But it is still hard, despite my blessings. I thought I'd share my challenges and my techniques (or lack thereof) for staying ahead of the wave of chores, responsibilities and financial problems.

Showing 1 posts in the Health and Body category for this blog.
It's Flu Season
Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My son Ethan has been home sick since Friday with a fever and bad cough.  It might be swine flu or might be just the regular flu. Either way, it is nasty stuff.  He had a temp of 102 - 103 for over 24 hours, and it didn't respond very well to meds.  Today is Tuesday and he still has a fever of 101!  A close friend of mine had to take her son to the ER last night for breathing issues, with similar symptoms.  The doctor's offices and hospitals are slammed with flu cases and the schools have lots of absences.

Here are some of the tips that I have used in the last few days to get my family through this latest bout of illness.  I hope they are helpful to someone and we all get through this year's flu season as easily as possible!

  • Keep Stocked Up - Buy lots of liquids, canned soup and other non-perishables for quick snacks and easy meals.  It is likely that the whole house will come down with it and you want to be able to keep everyone fed through your own recovery.  You also want to make sure you have medications like Tylenol for reducing fevers, cough syrup, and cough drops. You don't want to have to drag yourself or your sick kids to the store for essentials.
  • Keep Them Healthy - If you just have one sick child, try to keep them in their room, or one room of the house.  Use lots of disinfecting wipes and practice good health techniques like hand washing or sanitizer and coughing into your arm instead of your hands. Be sure not to send them back to school until their fever is gone at least 24 hours.  If you haven't already, get those flu shots ASAP. We still have months of flu season left and the shots cover several strains.
  • Keep Them Quiet - Your child will feel much better on medication, maybe too much better. They really need more rest and relaxation than they will take on their own.  Play quiet board games with them or let them watch TV from bed.  I recommend having them watch movies instead of broadcast TV, if possible. The constant commercials and short programs are much more distracting than a feature length film.  Books, of course, are also good for quiet time, if your child enjoys reading.
  • Keep Them Hydrated  And Comfortable - One of the most dangerous parts of being sick is the dehydration, especially if there is vomiting or diarrhea. Keep a water bottle with your child and refill it often. If their pee is dark yellow, they are not getting enough water.  Often it is difficult to swallow with a very sore throat and they often have little appetite.  Try giving them easy to swallow foods like soup, jello, applesauce, popsicles.  Check their fever regularly and keep track of times and temps, as well as the medication.  I find that most kids don't like cough drops, too strong.  I have gotten the Vitamin C drops instead, but a hard candy will work as well.  Likewise, honey is a good substitute cough syrup.  Don't bother with those multi symptom meds as they give too much of some and not enough of other.
  • Keep in Contact With Your Doctor - Most insurance plans and doctor's offices have advice nurses available 24 hours a day. Although there is lots of advice on the internet, your own doctor knows the specifics of your personal situation and will give you the very best advice.  Be sure to call immediately if the fever is high (over 103), your child is unresponsive or is having trouble breathing.  If you can't contact a doctor, there is lots of good advice at, which is a website set up by the CDC.  If you are worried and it is the middle of the night, go directly to the ER!



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jess (Contact)
Hillsboro, OR USA
About Me:

I'm a 39 year old . . . what? Mother, college graduate, housewife with a full time job, mostly unpublished writer, the list just goes on. I'm spiritual, but not religious; lazily liberal; frugal but with a love of pretty, shiny things. My mother, Susan, was the founder of ThriftyFun and scrimped all her life to have enough for her kids. I try to do her proud but sometimes stumble along the way.

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