What to Do When Your Child is Sick and You’re Miles from Home

Little sick girl cleaning her nose
Little sick girl cleaning her nose

There’s no place like home when you’re under the weather. Unfortunately, sometimes getting sick can’t be helped when you’re far from home. And it’s even worse when it happens to your child. If you’re visiting family, staying at a hotel or on a road trip and your child gets sick—here’s what you can do to make the situation better for everyone.

Make them as comfortable as you can

In most non-serious cases, time is a key factor in getting over an illness. While you wait it out, try making your child as comfortable as possible. Let them rest, give them any comfort items you may have on hand, and try giving them something like Children’s Advil—which provides up to 8 hours of fever relief— so they can get back to being a happy, active kid again.

Head to a walk-in

If you’re unsure or in doubt of anything, taking your child to see a doctor is always a good idea. Find a local walk-in if you can to have your child checked out until you get home to see your family doctor if necessary.

Or call your local telehealth

Sometimes you just need a quick call for reassurance. Telehealth is a great way to get advice or general info from a Registered Nurse, and it’s available with round-the-clock access. Check out this link to find the number for your province.

Try to get them to sleep—a lot

Sleep is always key to feeling better. If you don’t already have one packed in your car or suitcase, try picking up a travel humidifier to help ease your little one’s symptoms and help them sleep. Having a portable noise machine/night light is also always helpful for wee ones.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

When your child is sick or has a sore throat, they may not be drinking enough liquids. Whenever you can, try to get them to hydrate with water. If they’re old enough, popsicles will also work in a pinch.

Prepare before you leave home

The best way to help a sick little one when you’re not at home is to prepare ahead of time. That’s sometimes easier said than done and hindsight is always 20/20, but if you can—bring a well-stocked medical kit in your bag or car with you before you go. Be sure to include all the basics: bandages, Children’s Advil, ointments, anti-nausea medication, a thermometer, cotton balls or cotton swabs, tweezers, nail clippers, sunscreen—and so on.

Stay close by and relax

There’s nothing more soothing for a sick child than their parents. Try to stay close to your little one and offer up comforting routines like you would at home. Give them a warm bath, snuggle in bed and read books, or you may even want to let them sleep with you or nearby, so you can keep a closer watch. Your little one will also likely feel much more comfortable and secure knowing you’re right there.

This post was written in partnership with Children’s Advil, but the opinions are our own.