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Toddler - Week #86

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Week 86: We Need Manners When We're Sick!

By Jodi L. Kelley, edHelperBaby

           Evan has another cold--the consequences of winter in daycare. But this time there is a little difference. My little guy is growing up and even in being sick, he is a bit more mature. This time, instead of running from me screaming as I chase him with a tissue; he takes the tissues and blows his own nose! And if I am not quick enough in getting the tissue, he has taken to pulling up his shirt and wiping his nose with that instead. No longer is he that cute little baby content to have snot running down his face. No, now he is a little man. In fact, when Evan's brother didn't want him touching him this week because of the snot, Evan was devastated. He was trying to wipe it off and crying at the same time (which didn't help the runny nose) so his brother would accept him again. It's definitely a different sick scene than even just a month ago! Also, this week, we have been working on the idea of sneezing in your elbow, covering your mouth when you cough, and saying common sick phrases like excuse me and bless you. Evan has a mumbled version now of both of those phrases.


Creating Good Readers:
           How other people feel about him is very important to Evan these days. Reading together is a great way to make that connection and show that love and bond. Evan loves when Alice or one of his big brothers read to him. But instead of just reading together and letting the cuddling do the talking, try actually telling your toddler how much you enjoy reading together. Actually saying it to him increases his love of reading. Let your child hear you exclaiming, "I love when we read books together". This will really help get him even more invested in reading time with you.


Book Of The Week:
           Bear Feels Sick

       By: Karma Wilson       

       This is a book from the Bear series. Bear is an adorable character that toddlers just love. The illustrations in these books are beautiful. Bear's little woodland friends are so cuddly looking even on the page. In this particular book, they go to play with Bear to find out he is too sick to play. He is sneezing and wheezing. He is achy all over. They decide to stick around and help him get better instead of leaving him behind. Then, of course, in the end they are sick themselves after helping him!


           We made a spaghetti and meatball art activity to go with our rhyme time. Evan and Alice glued yarn all over their paper plate for the spaghetti. Alice loves glue! Then on top of the yarn spaghetti, they Bingo marker stamped meatballs! They came out cute!       

       We also set up the book scene in the playroom. We used stuffed animals that matched the ones in the book. A teddy bear got put in the baby's bed and all of his friends were around to help. The kids used tea cups from their kitchen for the herbal tea. They wiped his nose. They used stuff from the doctor's kit to treat the patient.


Rhyme Time:
           All the sneezing led me to think about this old fun song:


       On top of spaghetti,

       All covered with cheese,

       I lost my poor meatball,

       When somebody sneezed.

       It rolled off the table,

       And on to the floor,

       And then my poor meatball,

       Rolled out of the door.

       It rolled in the garden,

       And under a bush,

       And then my poor meatball,

       Was nothing but mush.

       The mush was as tasty

       As tasty could be,

       And then the next summer,

       It grew into a tree.

       The tree was all covered,

       All covered with moss,

       And on it grew meatballs,

       And tomato sauce.

       So if you eat spaghetti,

       All covered with cheese,

       Hold on to your meatball,

       Whenever you sneeze       



Evan's Opinion:
           Evan really likes this book and we made it even more fun by saying bless you to the bear each time! I read another book with Alice to go with our meatball them. It's called Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and is great fun for her. But not for Evan! It is too long for a little guy. As far as activities, the glue is messy, but texture is important to play with, so I suck it up and deal with the mess. He was sticky and messy, but that's what baths are for! The picture on the paper plate was adorable looking when it was done!  The both of them had great fun reenacting the scenes in the book. Alice loves playing doctor. Her daycare has a little Veterinarian Hospital set up in one of the centers and it is her favorite spot. So this activity was much to her liking.


You're Probably Wondering.....
           Question: "How can I keep him healthy during the winter months at daycare?"       

       It feels impossible to keep everyone healthy in the winter when the cold viruses and the flu viruses are floating all around us. And we are a big family, so it feels like every day someone is getting sick! So is it impossible to keep a toddler healthy in these months? If I bundle him up really well, and move him away from sick people that should do it, right? The surprising answer to this is NO!       

       Even though bundling up is good for staying warm, it isn't good enough for avoiding a cold. Studies have shown that being colder or even damp does not increase your chances of catching that cold.       

       And believe it or not, staying clear of the person sneezing and coughing won't help you that much either! This is because that person was most contagious before he was ever displaying those symptoms! This is not to say it's great to get sprayed by a sneeze! But even when you think you are staying clear, those sprayed germs can travel six feet through the air!       

       All these germs are airborne; that is how these viruses are spread. So what do we do? Should we give up and just lock ourselves and our toddlers in the house? Given that is the real impossibility, we need a better way!       

       The best line of defense is the easiest thing to do: wash your hands. Wash your own hands, get your toddler in the habit of washing his hands well and often, and be sure your daycare follows good hand washing practices. Most daycares do have a policy around hand washing.       

       The other thing that is important is the sick policy at the daycare. Be sure to follow it and keep your child home as directed. You will hope all the other parents are doing this as well. It can be frustrating to follow this-you've already paid, you'll be missing work-it can be annoying. But it is important. Otherwise the germs will just keep getting passed back and forth. Even if they learn to cover when they cough and sneeze in Eddy-Elbow!       

       Finally, I get the kids their flu shots every year. I realize there is some controversy around vaccinations. However, for us, I have chosen to get the vaccine. I think with young children in such close proximity to a large amount of other young children, it is important to protect my children from something as serious as the flu. Colds we can deal with; the flu we don't need!


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