Guest Post By Genevieve Kane, MSN, RN
With back-to-school right around the corner, many parents and caregivers have school supply lists on the back of their minds. However, to be prepared for the upcoming school year, parents should plan on gathering more than school supplies.
What Items to Have in Your Back to School Sick Day Kit
The start of school also comes with lots of germ-sharing. Runny noses, colds, sore throats, fevers, and bugs are inevitable. If your little one is starting up in school or daycare this fall, here are essential items to have in your back-to-school sick day kit.
Fever and Pain Reducing Medications
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen (commonly known as Children’s TylenolⓇ or MotrinⓇ, respectively) can help relieve sore throats, headaches, and fevers. These medications are generally safe to give to school-age children and can be alternated to help keep kids comfortable.
Keep in mind that ibuprofen is typically only given to infants 6 months of age, and older, per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). If you are giving your child a new medication, are unsure of the dose, or you have questions or concerns, reach out to your child’s healthcare provider or a pharmacist for advice as needed.
Allergies can happen at any time of the year, depending on what your child is allergic to. So having an antihistamine in your back-to-school sick day kit is essential, especially if your child has allergies.
It can also be challenging sometimes to determine if allergies are causing cold symptoms or if a virus is to blame. According to Children’s Health, through the Children’s Medical Center Dallas, if your child is old enough, you can consider trying a non drowsy antihistamine to see if there is an improvement in symptoms.
If your child has symptoms more commonly associated with a virus, the cause is more likely to be infectious than allergies. Symptoms more common with a virus than allergies include:
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Thick nasal discharge
Additionally, for children less than a year old, runny noses tend to be caused by illness rather than allergies. This is because young children haven’t been exposed to as many possible allergens.
If you’re considering an antihistamine and haven’t used one with your child before, contact your child’s healthcare provider or a pharmacist for advice on antihistamine use and the amount to give.
Saline Rinse or Spray
Colds and runny noses are bound to happen at the start of the school year. So another essential item in your back-to-school sick day kit is a saline rinse or saline nasal spray. A saline rinse or spray can help loosen up secretions to move mucus out.
Of course, pairing a saline rinse or spray with a nasal aspirator like the NozeBot is even more effective at helping to clear your little one’s nose.
NozeBot Nasal Aspirator
Our favorite item to include in our back-to-school sick day kit is the NozeBot nasal aspirator. Designed by a pediatric ENT, the NozeBot is effective at clearing congestion in both babies and children.
Stuffy noses can impact sleep and general quality of life. The NozeBot safely and effectively removes nasal secretions through three different levels of hospital-grade suction. And the best part is that it is rechargeable and cordless.
No more needing to use your mouth to provide suction or struggling with one of those difficult-to-use suction bulbs! The NozeBot makes clearing out your child’s nose easy.
Band-Aids and General Injury Care
Back-to-school often means time spent on a playground or in gym class, which can result in a scraped knee, elbow, or other minor injury. It’s important to have a few bandaids in your back-to-school sick day kit.
Consider having various shapes and sizes of bandaids, along with an antiseptic wash or triple antibiotic ointment such as NeosporinⓇ.
Other items you may want to have on hand for bumps and scrapes include non-stick sterile dressings and gauze or adhesive medical tape for injuries that don’t fit well under a standard bandage.
Pedialyte, Soup Mixes, and Sick Day Treats
Of course, while medication, saline rinses, the NozeBot, and a bandaid can solve many problems, other supportive care helps too! Nothing feels as good when you’re sick as a nice, warm bowl of chicken soup.
Sick kids can easily become dehydrated, especially with a sore throat. Having a bottle of an electrolyte solution such as PedialyteⓇ on hand can encourage them to drink liquids. Popsicles are another great way to help encourage fluids in a sick child.
Looking for more tips on caring for sick kids when school starts? You’ll find these helpful:
- What Do The Colors Of Boogers Mean?
- Work From Home Tips For Parents With A Sick Kid
- 5 Things To Consider Before Sending An Under-The-Weather Child To Daycare
- Give Your Child's Immune System A Boost With These Nutrient Packed Foods
- When To Go To The ER, Urgent Care, Or Pediatrician
The start of the school year is a fun and exciting time! However, it also brings with it an increased likelihood of sickness. Having a fully stocked back-to-school sick day kit helps you manage those illnesses more easily.
Of course, if you have questions about medication or are concerned about your child’s symptoms, always contact a trusted healthcare provider for advice. Most illnesses can be managed at home. However, dehydration, difficulty breathing, and high fevers, among other symptoms, may require additional support from a medical team.
So as a bonus tip, have the numbers to your child’s healthcare provider's office and the local hospital you would take them to saved in your phone and written down in your back-to-school sick day kit.
Hopefully, you’ll have a healthy and fun start to school—and with these items in your back-to-school sick day kit, you’ll be well-prepared when illness happens.
Genevieve Kane, MSN, RN, is a mother of four and a registered nurse with a background in pediatrics. When she's not working, you can find her cooking up tasty family dinners or keeping up with her kids on a hiking trail in her home state of Colorado.
Make sure the NozeBot is part of your sick day kit!
The Nozebot is a battery-powered suction device designed to clear nasal congestion in babies and children.