Taking care of sick kids is never easy. But these tips for fighting colds and treating symptoms should help.

With RSV making its way around plus it officially being flu and cold season, it’s a given you’ll be dealing with runny noses and fevers more than once this winter. Since it’s all (parents’) hands on deck when it comes to surviving long sick days with kids, we’ve created a guide to help you make it back to the land of the healthy.

From babies to big kids, sinus infections to body aches and fatigue, we’ve got ideas for what to do when your kid is sick: the best entertainment, how to maintain hydration, and even insider intel on superfoods that’ll help them say goodbye to the sickies. P.S. It turns out that bowl of chicken noodle soup is doing even more than you think! (Note: In the case of severe illness or symptoms, please seek professional medical help.)

How to Treat Symptoms

When It's a Baby

Aditya Romansa via Unsplash

There's more guesswork involved with treating a sick baby because they can't verbalize their symptoms, but we have plenty of comfort cures in our guide: 10 ways to soothe a sick baby to help your little bundle feel better in no time. 

When It's a Sinus Issue


Sinus drainage during a cold or a bout of flu is a culprit of pain and frustration. That's why knowing how to relieve your kids of this nasty symptom is a must! Read our thorough information on how to treat sinus drainage.

Home Remedies That Help

Jocelyn Morales via Unsplash

Use nature's potent power to help your kids heal and recover faster and make them more comfortable during illness. These home remedies pack a punch and will knock out icky ailments including a cough or a sore throat. You may even find you have many of these impactful ingredients on hand in your kitchen cupboard right now!

Home Entertainment for Sick Days

wondering what to do when sick? This little girl is having a sick day and she's reading books

Books. Even when they're feeling awful, some kids still want to be entertained when they're not sleeping off an illness. Bookworms may appreciate the downtime to catch up on the best kids' books of the past year. Bonus: this will allow for snuggle time too!

Board Games. If your young patient is ready to sit up and have a little friendly competition, bust out a board game! These classic games will banish the sick day blues.

Activities. When your little sunshine is feeling dim, try one of these low-energy activities that will keep them occupied while conserving energy. Bringing a smile to their face could be as easy as having a tea party or setting up an indoor fort

Printables. Your kiddo may be feeling much better but it's still a 'sick' day because most schools say students need to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to the classroom. Fill that lull between sickness and full steam ahead with these fun winter-themed activity sheets.

Podcasts. If the television is too bright or you want to turn off the tube, settle your kiddo down with a pair of headphones and a handful of podcasts. It will help pass the time, and they may even learn something, too!

little boy watching a tablet while having a sick day

All Things Netflix & Other Must-See Movies

Shows that are perfect for binge-watching. Not sure where to start? These classic '90s TV shows will keep them entertained while lying on the family sofa.

But what's new? For the latest and greatest kid-friendly offerings on Netflix, here's an awesome list of all the kids' shows and movies coming to Netflix this month.

Opt for a must-see movie instead. Catch up on movies you've always wanted to watch with your kids but may not have had the time. These must-see family films will keep the whole household entertained. There are over 100 films on the list, so you're sure to find more than a few to enjoy!

Food & Hydration for Sick Days


Make chicken soup. It's not just an adage after all! Chicken soup does help fight colds, according to science. Here's a homemade chicken noodle soup recipe that's easy to make.

Use the slow cooker. Taking care of a sick child leaves little time for cooking for the whole family. We've compiled a list of our favorite slow cooker recipes so family meals can simmer into completion while you tend to your little one.

Whip up comfort food. Perhaps your patient's appetite is still healthy even though they're under the weather. If that's the case, these comfort food recipes will help keep them fueled up and cozy.

If they've got an upset tummy. If your kids are suffering from nausea and/or vomiting, keeping liquids down will be a challenge. Help them stay hydrated by making homemade popsicles—bonus points for making a batch with hydrating and nutrient-rich coconut water.

Superfoods to the rescue! From carrot-orange juice to chocolate chia seed pudding, we've got plenty of recipes that use superfoods, which can help your kids battle any bugs.

What to Do for Yourself When Your Kid Is Sick

Dominik Martin via Unsplash

Practice self-care. If your kiddo's cold or flu has yet to bring you down, drink this cold-busting wellness tea that's loaded with germ-fighting fruits and spices. 

Use hand sanitizer. While washing hands is always the best option for preventing illness, a squirt here or there will help keep germs at bay if you can't get to a sink right away.  

Click to order. Are you out of cough syrup and popsicles? Instead of dragging your sick littles to the store, shop for the essentials and have them delivered to your front door. Here's our list of grocery stores that make home calls.


Editor’s Note: Tinybeans does not make any medical claims about curing serious illnesses in children. In the case of severe illness or symptoms, please seek professional medical help. 

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