> The Beesley Buzz: My top 5 tips and tricks when kids are unwell with #VicksTricks

My top 5 tips and tricks when kids are unwell with #VicksTricks

Today I'm going to share with you my top 5 tips and tricks to help Miss T feel better when she's unwell. As a result of her long-term medical condition, she often gets coughs, colds and bugs so I need to have a lot of tricks up my sleeve to help. Thankfully we were sent a pack of #VicksTricks goodies from Vicks with some great suggestions too! 

Miss T has juvenile idiopathic arthritis or JIA for short. Whilst little is known about the exact causes of JIA (hence the 'idiopathic' part, meaning 'unknown') and sadly there is no cure, thankfully these days there is effective treatment available. 

What is known about arthritis is that it is an autoimmune system condition where the body's immune system attacks itself causing pain and inflammation and can result in long term joint damage.

For Miss T who was diagnosed at age 2, the treatment has been weekly methotrexate injections (MTX) which work by suppressing the body's immune system and thereby reducing the pain of arthritis and preventing the long term damage that it causes. 

Whilst we are delighted that the treatment is working on her arthritis, one of the side-effects of a suppressed immune system is being prone to catching whatever bugs are going around - especially in these winter months!

Here are some of the tips and tricks we've learnt along the way as well as some new ones thanks to Vicks. 


We've found that distraction by watching a favourite TV programme or DVD helps Miss T relax and not think about feeling poorly.

Distraction methods have also been key when it comes to focussing her attention away from the pain of the weekly Methotrexate injection. A healthy dose of distraction with toys, games or bubbles works wonders at the hospital when she is having her regular blood tests used to monitor liver function (Liver damage can be another side effect of MTX if not closely monitored).

Thanks to a set of four fun #VicksTricks Magic videos, we now have some new distraction tools to use! Those familiar with CBBC's "Help! My Supply Teacher is Magic" will recognise magician Katherine Mills who we think is just awesome.

Here's one of the videos which we put to the test ourselves after watching it.

Of course, using a banana gives extra encouragement for kids to eat healthily too. Especially as they start to regain their appetite after feeling unwell.
10 year old D who loves magic, wowed Miss T with the banana trick!

We also LOVED the the jumping coin in the bag trick - so simple but really effective! 

According to research by Vicks 'over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better' and I have to say that I agree.

Sleep and rest is our bodies' way of healing and recovering so getting a good night's sleep and resting throughout the day when unwell is really important to us.

We loved reading "The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep" to help with feeling settled, relaxed and sleepy at bedtime. You can see how we got on in our little video:

And if they need to lie-in in the morning when they are unwell - let them! Change your plans so that you don't have to be up and rushing around early so that they can get all the rest and sleep that they need. Which brings me onto the next point...

Better bend than break as they say. This flexibility relates to YOUR schedule too, not just your child. Whenever Miss T is unwell, I brace myself for disturbed nights, I clear my diary so that I'm not stressed by other commitments and I make a decision to leave the housework and any chores that can be left until she's feeling better again.

Whilst the word comfort conjures up images of snuggling up with a duvet, warm soup and being looked after and cared for, it turns out that the word 'comfort' actually comes from the latin word 'comfortare' which means 'strengthen greatly'. 

Finding this out actually spoke volumes to me because it made me realise that we're not just soothing our children when they are unwell but helping to strengthen them and help them get better by comforting them. 

In practical terms as well as hugs, cuddles and soothing words, other things we can do to help Miss T be as comfortable as she can be when feeling unwell are:

  • checking her temperature regularly and accurately (for her a high temperature can become dangerous because of the other medication she is on)
  • keeping the room at a comfortable temperature
  • using pain relief and fever medication when necessary
  • helping her to breathe more easily by raising the head end of her bed slightly on books and using good old tried and tested Vicks Vaporub (suitable for children aged 2 and over. Always read the label).  
  • using appropriate bedding - in the summer time that may be a lightweight sheet to keep cooler, in the winter a children's duvet or in Miss T's case we still like to use 'grobag' style sleeping bags - they come in sizes up to age 10 these days and are a great way of helping keep her at a comfortable temperature knowing that it is not going to slide off the bed and leave her feeling cold. 
  • keeping her favourite comforters close to hand (in Miss T's case her two favourite cuddly toys Hoppy & Patch) and making sure we have spares for when they are in the wash!

This tip is as much about staying well as getting well. Drinking plenty of water and fluids is important all year round but especially when feeling unwell. Even if that means adding a little squash to water to encourage children to drink more.

We tend to cut down on drinking cow's milk when Miss T has a cold as it can leave her feeling more mucusy.

Most people know that sugar is not great for dental health and obesity but it is also considered to be an inflammatory food too so generally reducing sugar consumption is definitely a good thing in our family.

To help our children eat well we encourage them to think of 'eating a rainbow' everyday. By eating lots of different coloured fruit and veg, I can know that they are getting lots of the nutrients and vitamins that their bodies need to get well and stay well.
Eating a 'rainbow' of fruit and veg to stay well!
Once again it's not just the kids that need to stay well. When there are bugs and illnesses going around as parents we need to do everything we can to look after ourselves too - reduce stress, eat well, stay hydrated, sleep well, wash hands super well and use hand sanitiser when out and about. Vicks even do a 'First defence nasal spray' for grown-ups and over 12's to help stop a cold from taking hold. Anything and everything to stay as well as you can to be able to help your kids feel better when they are unwell.

Writing this has been a bit of a blast from the past for me as it's brought back memories of childhood times when I was unwell. Vicks Vaporub has been a trusted ally in times of illness for as long as I can remember. I also have memories of daytime TV and being allowed to bring my duvet to the living room and snuggle up on the sofa. And plenty of my mum's soup. 

Even though these memories are of times of illness, they've become 'happy' memories for me because of the TLC shown by my mum. I hope I can do the same for my kids.

This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks Campaign.


  1. I love that rainbow! There's a great visual for variety if ever I saw one :)

    1. thanks Jenny. My kids certainly do love a bit of 'fun food' to encourage them to eat their veggies! x


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