Ask the Moms: Must Have Products for Child Sick Days?

A few nights ago Lucas was unusually tired so I put him to bed an hour early, simply because I couldn’t keep him up any longer.  He woke up often throughout the night and I believe he was dehydrated from the day. He felt really warm to me, and he did have a little fever, but nothing above 100 degrees. He slept in bed with us, drank water throughout the night, and woke up feeling back to normal. 
During this short time, several people suggested giving him tylenol if his fever got high. People also suggested popsicles or juice to give him some fluids. My husband and I felt pretty ridiculous that we didn’t have any of those products on hand. No tylenol, he doesn’t’ drink juice, no toddler medicine. We have a thermometer (and I don’t even know if it’s a good one!) and…. that’s about it. 
We’ve been lucky enough to never need anything besides Hylands teething tablets. But, this still got me thinking that there are probably several things that we should have on hand “just in case.” 
What are your must have products for your baby/toddler in your first aid kit or medicine cabinet? What about other things that might make a sick child feel better? 

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

25 thoughts on “Ask the Moms: Must Have Products for Child Sick Days?

  1. I usually keep both Tylenol and Motrin on hand. I also usually have unopened pedylite (spelling) in the kitchen.
    I have not always kept these items handy even now having 4 kids. The beginning of this year my youngest had RSV at 8 mths old. Since then he periodically will spike these crazy temps. The only thing that works is to alternate Tylenol and Motrin for a couple of days.
    Just take this as a learning experience, you may never use them but having a couple things on hand never hurts.

  2. I would keep peppermint oil on hand to cool them down if they get really hot, CALM (its magnesium) it calms them down and helps them relax and go to sleep, activated charcoal for bites that may be poisonous and that's all I can think of…

    I don't even have Tylenol and Motrin!

  3. Tylenol and Motrin to alternate. Gatorade or pedialite in the back of the fridge just in case.

    We also bought the Pedialite popsicles to keep in the freezer just in case. Hayden drinks diluted apple juice so we always have juice in the fridge.

    We bought an ear thermometer, but I'm not a fan of it.

    You did good mama! 😉

  4. We have tylenol & motrin on hand at all times (reserved for truly high fevers 100+), themometers in every bathroom and one in the kitchen, and usually some gatorade on hand. (the gatorade we also reserve for when they are truly dehydrated from tummy problems – I think water should be step one)

  5. I have an ear thermometer, which I love. It's accurate, too.

    I keep acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin) because both my kids get really high fevers. Logan's been up to 106. Jordan to 105.

    Another must-have is a vaporizer. It's the very best thing for when they're all congested. It helps them breathe sooooo much better at night.

    I try to keep buckwheat honey on hand for coughs. It works really well to soothe a tickle in the throat, and it's easy to get the kids to swallow a spoonful.

    Smith's Rosebud Salve is AMAZING for raw noses. It's kind of hard to find, but I've used it for noses, lips and chapped skin since I was a kid. You can have the sorest nose from blowing it, and if you Rosebud it before bed, when you wake up it's not sore anymore. I get it from Lehmans.

    I also have cortisone cream because Jordan gets eczema from time to time, and I keep a prescription decongestant (Rondec) refilled because Logan gets congested a lot in the spring and fall (seasonal allergies).

    Other than that, we don't really keep anything around.

  6. Great question!

    We always have Ibuprofen on hand, as well as tylenol usually. We probably reach for it way more than most parents, but sometimes it's the only thing that works and he's not getting it too much.

    For a thermometer we use a Temporal Lobe one, I think most doctors use it. You just slide it around their face and it works great. Any quality thermometer should work fine though. The butt is most accurate but I cannot bring myself to stick one in there. lol

    Orajel is always on hand, but we only use it in severe teething situations (like when he had 3 come in at once..ouch!)

    A steam vaporizer is #1, I agree with Krys. We get some liquid steam vicks to add to it and its just a miracle worker.

    Tommy doesn't get juice all the time but we always have plum or prune juice plus some other fruit juice in the fridge. We also usually have a box of the powdered pedialyte to mix with water. Green Apple flavor, he loves it.

    Ice pops we always have because i'm addicted to them lol.

    Plus all the basics like rubbing alcohol, cottonballs, eczema cream, rash cream, bandaids, gauze, etc.

  7. I really found a treasure in Umcka homeopathic cold/flu syrup. It shortens the duration and lessens the severity (you can get it for adults or kids). It really works for us.

    Also Hylands sniffles and sneezes tablets.

    Saline drops and the snot sucker (blue bulb thing).

    Vicks baby rub.

    Eucalyptus oil and lavender oil (to put in bath and in humidifier.)

    Ear thermometer.

    Hylands teething tablets.

    We've only used Motrin once when she busted her lip and blood was everywhere and I freaked out more than she did. I don't think she even needed it.
    She's only 2 so we don't use real meds. Though we've never had any real emergency except a 103 fever that we let run its course.

  8. We started letting our girl drink juice sometime after her first birthday. She only gets half of a small glass a day (sometimes I forget) and occasionally she'll get a touch more, if I'm feeling generous. She drinks milk and water, otherwise. When she had a cold a little while back, I had it too. I have chicken soup (or just broth with noodles) and 'white soda' like 7 up in the house during cold and flu season. I'm sure water is fine, if you need to rehydrate quickly, something flavored can be of assistance. However, too much sugar is not a good thing, either. I relate to gatorade as kind of like soda with a juice sticker on the front of it personally. Tons of calories and no real 'benefit' except to HEAVY exercisers, unlike the commercials might want you to believe. Probably not bad on occasion, though. I use some cloth wipes to wipe her nose when I can, instead of paper kleenex, and serve easier to eat things like applesauce that have more fluid in them as well. We always have some sort of tylenol in the house for her, although I rarely use a thermometer. I use my lips on her forehead. We dose if both her dad and I feel like she is warm enough to warrant it. Unscientific, maybe, but what do you suppose people did before thermometers? I say keep some chicken/beef/vegetable/whatever broth and some sort of noodles on your shelf, so you can make your own soup/broth. I think you have it covered otherwise!

  9. Hylands makes a great cold tab for kids as well so I always have those on hand. Plus hylands teething tabs, colorless tylenol (I hate how the die stains), and basics for a cut and arnica gel for bumps and bruises.

  10. I always have infant tylenol and infant ibuprofen/motrin on hand, and I find that Target's store brand is an excellent value (less than half the cost of name brand out here, sometimes a third of the cost compared to the grocery store).

    We recently all had a very nasty stomach virus and Pixie was getting quite dehydrated. She doesn't like juices, and won't drink Pedialyte straight. We wound up giving her a sippy cup with 3/4 water (she normally only likes water) and 1/4 Pedialyte to help get her electrolites back in sync. Pedialyte also makes a popsicle version that my sister has used for her toddlers (a little older).

    If Lucas gets sick and is vomiting, just remember that you should wait 30 minutes from the last vomiting to offer liquids, and only allow him to have a sip at a time for awhile to make sure it stays down and doesn't aggravate his stomach (especially if the vomiting was for a long period, since that'll give him tummy cramps).

    The other stuff I like to keep on hand is infant nose drops and boogie wipes. The boogie wipes really do seem to do a better job easing snot crusties and stuff off Pixie's face without causing extra skin irritation or prolonged scrubbing!

  11. I dont have any others to add {everyone listed what we use already} but this really got me thinking and I am heading to the store today to get a few more things 🙂
    Thanks for this post.

  12. In addition to the great things already mentioned, we keep tea tree oil on hand for use on mosquito bites, ant bites (we're in Texas), and minor cuts and scrapes. Garlic ear drops are also great to have around!

  13. We don't have a whole lot on hand. we dont really like to give the kids meds BUT the one thing I don't ever let run out at my house is benedryl. If the kids have an allergic reaction I do NOT want to have to run to the store to get benedryl when I can just dose it up right away and give it asap.

    Other than that, I typically keep ibuprofen or tylenol on hand for all of us (so child liquid for the toddler, tylenol jr for the older one and adult strenght for us)

    and during cold season sometimes I'll pick up some decongestant but usually a little benedryl will take care of that.

  14. We have Tylenol, Motrin, Hyland's Teething Tablets, hydrocortisone cream, antibiotic cream (like Neosporin), band-aids, a humidifier, Vicks Baby Rub, the nose bulb thingy, a thermometer, and unopened Pedialyte. I also keep Aquaphor or Vaseline on hand for diarrhea caused diaper rashes. When they're little, there are so few things you can give them/should give them so we try to keep it pretty simple.

    If they have diarrhea or are dehydrated, you shouldn't give them juice because it can make it worse. Our pediatrician told us that and it's very true! Pedialyte is better than Gatorade because there is sooooooooo much sugar in Gatorade!

  15. Well.. I am kind of a freak, and with 7 kids… I have everything.

    Triaminac, Daytime and nighttime (in grape and cherry because one kid throws up if he takes anything other than grape).

    We have Tylenol for the same kid when he gets migraines

    An amazing thermometer that goes across their forehead, because when kids are sick, the last thing they want is you in their underarm!

    Humidifier. HUGEly important. Needed with Vicks liquid so the vicks is in the air when they are sleeping.

    Oh.. and an extra pillow to prop them up so they don't cough all night.

    Love… tons of it. Love and patience.

  16. seriously.. thanks so much for these recommendations!

    When do you freak out and go to the ER?! My husband and I were worried at a temp of 100- I think I would be terrified of a 105! But then I looked online and most places say a temp isn't THAT big of a deal, it's a way to fight a virus and will go away soon.. but still…

  17. I'm with you! We don't really keep much in the house, but I think we do that on purpose. It is so much better for the body to heal itself especially with something beneficial like a fever. If I have medicines in the house, it is too tempting to use them. Rest and liquids and a little extra snuggling will do the trick for the non-emergencies. 🙂

  18. Tylenol and Motrin, but I only break it out if she's really miserable or complaining of pain or has a fever over 102. Otherwise, it's water or (very) diluted juice and rest. I have this theory that fever/pain reducers – especially motrin – just makes them feel better, run around and play and want to eat. Maybe that's not good. Maybe they NEED to be fasting, resting and just drinking fluids. KWIM? Let that little body fight off the infection.

    I also have my themometor (how the heck do you spell that?)and Grapefruit Seed Extract. I usually start the GSE in her water cup as soon as I think she might be feeling bad and it really does wonders. It's pretty inexpensive too – I get it at the Vitamin shoppe.

  19. Oh, one more thing! The actual temp is not as important as how your child is acting. Some kids are still playing and eating with a temp of 103, while others are lethargic and non-responsive with a temp of 101. Just listen to your baby/toddlers cues and go with your mommy gut.

  20. I'm student pharmacist, my sister is a nurse, and my mom raised 3 healthy kids and we all still freak when it's our kid that is sick! As far as going to the ER, it really isn't needed for a fever for a generally healthy child as I found out once when my boy was 9. He was up to 104, puking, shaking, and even halucinating. When I took him in the ER doc said, “Well it's either the flu or meningitis, but if it was meningitis he would be a lot sicker. Do you want me to do the spinal tab anyhow?” Um, do I want you to stick a HUGE needle into my kid's back when you don't think it's needed and charge me for it? Uh, no thanks. It was the flu and it lasted 10 days very long days. It happens, we stress, they recover! Here is a link to a very helpful website.

  21. I was just thinking about this same thing the other day! Our daughter had a fever that just lasted overnight that we just treated with co-sleeping and extra nursing… but I realized if it had been worse I don't even know where the baby tylenol is right now. And we don't really have anything else. I had the thought that with our next little baby I might want to have more things on hand… but then Wal-Mart, open 24 hours, is like a mile from our house so we can always go get something if we need it. If we don't need it, it just expires in the cupboard and gets thrown away. Loved reading everyone's ideas here though!

    And congratulations on your new bundle of joy! So exciting!

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