Winter used to be my favorite season of the year. I’m all about warm soups, snuggles and lots of fun time to bake. Now that I have a child? Winter terrifies me. Is it just me or are the hacking coughs and runny noses seem to be everywhere? While I arm our entire family with a slew of antiviral and immune boosting vitamins and food, we are not immune to everything. A few years back, I implemented the “sick caddy” in our home and I have never looked back. If you don’t have one, I have some suggestions and tips to make one work for your family.
What is a sick caddy?
When I first heard about the sick caddy, I kind of rolled my eyes. Since I am the type A organization lunatic, I figured that maybe these moms simply just needed some organizational tips. Enter our first stomach virus. Since we all know that stomach viruses only arrive at the most ungodly hours of the night (or morning), I fell victim to my very first frantic search at 2:30 am. I quickly began to understand why this item was essential to my survival as a mom. In a nutshell, the sick caddy contains everything you could possibly in order to help a sick (and most likely screaming) child at 3:00 am. While sick caddies are pretty customized, I always suggest some basics that you can have all in one place when the screaming begins.
What to include in the sick caddy?
One of the most important things to have in that sick caddy is a thermometer. Whether you use rectal, ear, or an Exergen, the thermometer is the one thing that will help you decide how to proceed next. Nobody wants to run around in the dark trying to find a thermometer. If you are a more of a wait and see mom, you might not need Advil or Tylenol but this is good to have on hand if you are trying to counteract a fever. Some other meds I like to include are anti-nausea liquid, tissues, and natural cough syrup. While your child may not need all of these, its so helpful to have them all in one place so that you can assess and act as quickly as possible. We almost always have PediaLyte in the freezer, but it’s helpful to have a few in the caddy just in case it’s freezing outside and ice pops aren’t too appealing. I use a shower caddy to keep everything organized and clean. If there are ever any spills, the caddy is plastic and can be rinsed out easily. I mean, it is 2 am, right?
Where to keep the sick caddy?
Location of the sick caddy is almost as essential as its contents. Our sick caddy is in a separate location away from all the other medicine and toiletries. I like to keep it this way so that there is never any mix-up between the adult and children’s medication. The location is also right outside my daughter’s room, which makes it easily accessible and conveniently located. It’s also great to have everything in one place for other caretakers to find easily and quickly. You might know exactly what the children’s Advil looks like, but grandma might not.
Other Sick Essentials
Even though these items do not fit in the sick caddy, I like to have them on hand just in case. You can put them near the sick caddy so that you can access them when needed. If you your child is potty trained, then you know the merits of having spare sheets. Having a set or two nearby can really help with a quick change of soiled linens. Towels are helpful for just about anything and if you happen to have a bunch you don’t care about, they can serve as a catch all for kiddos who won’t be able to get to a bathroom. Special DVD’s or games can be super helpful to keep your child entertained once they are on the mend. Even though it’s silly, we always watch The Polar Express because we are such Christmas junkies. It always makes my daughter feel better.
While no mom wants a sick kiddo, being prepared as possible can make an awful situation just a little less so.
Mom, wife, educator, and loyal friend. Passionate about all things reading and writing. Sharing parenting tips with an educator’s lens.