The Secret to Getting Through Your Foster Kids Cold and Staying Sane!

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It’s SICK SEASON!!! Everyone is getting colds, and kids pass them on so easily. It was inevitable, I knew the kiddo was going to get a cold, and of course she did. This is the first time since we adopted her that we didn’t have to fill out any paperwork and record every little thing, or have a doctor sign off on giving her cough medicine. However, this week does have me thinking back to those days because we will be doing it again soon with a new kiddo. So, I thought I’d put together a list of some of the things that made our lives easier for those foster kid colds.

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On the paperwork side:

  • Your State’s medical form. Every time we had to take the kiddo to the doctor, even for a regular checkup or the flu shot medical form must be filled out and signed by the doctor. I suggest printing out 20 of them and having them ready to go. Keep them someplace you will remember. I keep the blank copies in my planner because it goes everywhere with me. Other options could be hanging them on your fridge, or a clip board in your desk. Wherever you will look to find them, put them there! foster care, medical care, foster care binder, paperwork
    • If you’d like to read about the planner I use to help keep me organized as a foster parent, click here. There are free Printables to go along with it as well if you sign up as a member here.
    • If you live in California this link will take you to the medical forms so that you can download and print them.
  • Foster Child Binder. Keep your paperwork organized, as soon as you are done make a hard copy for your social worker or scan it and send it to them, and then place it in your Foster Child Binder behind a tab that says Medical. Keep them in order with most recent on top. foster care, medical forms, organization, sick kids
    • If you’d like to read about the Foster Child Binder I use to help keep me organized as a foster parent, click here. There are free Printables to go along with it as well if you sign up as a member here
  • Scanner app. If you have a smart phone I highly recommend downloading an app that scans. The one we use is iScanner. This helped me keep myself organized with the paperwork that I submitted to the social workers. The moment I had something I needed to turn into them, I would scan it, send it right away, and then file it. It only takes 5 minutes and because I am so forgetful, it helped me stay organized, submit stuff on time, and have a back-up copy. It also kept our social workers extremely happy with us. We were always being told how awesome it was that we didn’t have to be reminded to turn paperwork in. It costs 4.99, but was well worth it. You can e-mail directly through the app, and can protect scans with password ID, and sign documents. Not to mention it keeps all of the documents, so if your social worker sends you a text months later about the paperwork that they can’t find, it is very easy to log-in and send. (*As a side note our social workers misplaced paperwork several times, so this came in handy. At the time I was a full time working mom, and when I would get the text message that they couldn’t find something, I’d log into the iScanner app and re-send it right away.)iScanner, foster care, medical forms, organization
  • Medication Log: Every dose of medicine you give your foster child, must be logged. Honestly, I do this even for myself because I forget if I’ve taken something. The days all start to run together. I use a medication log. You can find a copy of it by registering here, which will help you gain access to my free resource library. Also, don’t forget to file this in your foster child binder behind the medical tab. I would file it right behind the doctors visit form so everything is kept together and organized. ***For full disclosure, my foster family agency had a medication record form that we were supposed to use to record medications. It drove me crazy because the boxes were so tiny, so I created this one. They didn’t seem to care what I recorded the information on, just as long as they had a copy submitted on what medications were given. I would check with the social worker before using any of the logs I’ve created to make sure they don’t have a preferred form.***Medication log, foster care, organization
  • Standing Medication Order For Over-The-Counter Medications form: When giving over-the-counter drugs, you still must have a doctor approve them. On your very first visit to the doctor’s office have the doctor fill out your form for your main over the counter medications, especially your cough medicine and Tylenol, because when your kid has a fever, you can’t wait for permission. (***As a side note, this is the first thing I had the doctor fill out and he automatically gave approval for rubbing alcohol, Aveeno Anti-Itch Cream, Calamine Lotion, Hydrocortisone, Aloe Vera Gel, Baby Powder, Neosporin, Pedialyte, Diaper Rash Cream, Sunblock, Children’s Tylenol, as she got older he added Motrin, Saline nose drops, chapstick, and a few essential oils I asked for. Anything you plan on giving that needs to be ingested or topical needs to be checked off. Save yourself the worry at the last second, and get it checked off right away.)

Items to have handy:

  • Temporal Thermometer. I personally LOVE the ones that you run across the forehead. I was always so paranoid that her temperature was high when she had a cold. With this I could sneak into her room as she slept and check her temperature quietly without waking her. This is the one I use and it is amazing, and eased my worried mommy mind. Plus, my kiddo doesn’t sit still long enough for the ones that go under the arm, so these are super helpful.Plan ahead, sick kid, foster care, cold season
  • Snot sucker. If you have a baby, I will highly recommend the NoseFrida. it is more gentle and helps suck out way more snot. I will be honest though, I cannot stomach it. My hubby is the snot sucker. I use the bulb, but either way, having some form of a snot sucker on hand is important.
  • Humidifier.  My daughter always seems to get respiratory colds, and I have noticed a huge difference when she has a humidifier going at night. This is the one we use. I love it because it is a cool mist humidifier so I don’t have to worry about the kiddo if the humidifier accidentally gets pulled down and the water spills on them. It is also veeeery easy to clean, which is important to do regularly because humidifiers can build up bacteria and mold, and will in return diffuse dirty grossness into the air, which can hurt them instead of help them.
  • Medicine Cabinet. As a licensed foster family, you must have all medications locked up, and out of reach. When we child proofed our house for certification I found this medicine cabinet. It’s the perfect size for our needs and helps me keep medications organized.foster care, medicine cabinet, sick kid, cold season
  • A refrigerator lock box for medication. Again, you must have all medications locked up, and many antibiotics need to be refrigerated, so they can’t go in the medicine cabinet. At first it seemed silly to me, but they make medication taste yummy for kids now, so my daughter (who is becoming more and more self-sufficient) could totally get her hands on it, and we’d be in a lot of trouble. When she was still foster care, we had a second fridge in the garage, which is detached from our house, and has a lock, so we kept it in there instead of getting the lock box. BUT, we are working really really hard to conserve energy, so it’s unplugged. This is the one I’ve been eyeing on Amazon for foster kiddo two though.

FOOOOD to have handy! (these are optional, but just thought I’d share what I like to stock up on)

  • Saltine crackers and chicken noodle soup of course. The beauty of these is that you can have them ready in your pantry.
  • Otter Pops. I try really really hard to keep my kiddo away from processed sugar because it makes her so hyper. But otter pops are cheap and don’t take a lot of freezer space, and when my kiddo hasn’t eaten because she’s sick, giving her a cold treat helps perk her up, and often gets her eating regular food soon after. I know, some moms are probably out their scolding me, but hey you gotta do what works for your kid. My goal is to get nutritious food in her body so she can get better, and if this is what gets her eating then I’m for it!
  • The ingredients for this tomato soup. Although I like to have canned chicken soup handy, my kid doesn’t love it. She does love this tomato soup though. It’s home-made so it takes a bit of extra effort, but it’s pumped full of veggies. Every time she’s sick this is my go-to food for her. My kiddo does not eat when she’s sick, and every time I have made this soup when she’s sick I am guaranteed that she will eat because she looooves it. You can grab the recipe here.tomato soup, get your sick kiddo eating in no time with this soup

For You: (because at the end of the day we need to keep ourselves healthy too)

  • Essential Oil Diffuser. I don’t use many essential oils, but Lavender is often diffused in our home. It smells good, and it helps with relaxation. I have one of these diffusers in every room in our house.
  • Vitamin C and any other immune system boosters that you like to take. When my little one gets sick I take them all: Airborne, Vitamin C, and diffuse On Guard Essential Oil. I’m also into smoothies pumped full of veggies and fruit. Anything that will keep you healthy!
  • Chocolate, bubble bath, and relaxing tea: Chocolate is my guilty pleasure, and at the end of the day with a sick child, I need a little me time. When they go to bed I rejuvenate with an easy read book, bubble bath, a cup of hot tea, a good record playing, and a little dark chocolate. Remember, it is important to take care of yourself too! So have on hand whatever will help you feel rejuvenated.Don't forget about you, foster care, sick kid, plan ahead

I hope this helps you get started with your sick foster kid preparedness list. Other foster mamas out there, what do you like to have on hand, what have you found that makes your lives easier when our kiddos are sick?

Happy Parenting,

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2 comments on “The Secret to Getting Through Your Foster Kids Cold and Staying Sane!
  1. CRYSTAL GUTIERREZ says:
    Thanks for the tips. My husband and I are preparing for fostering and any advise helps.

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