Before I had children, I remember my parent co-workers entering the office with a warning, by lunch, their child’s school will be calling demanding they pick-up their feverish child. Really? Did my co-worker have a crystal ball or supernatural powers? No, the truth was their child had a fever the night before but they did not want to call in sick, so they self prescribed a dose of acetaminophen – to get the parents through the work morning.
The term VAB (Vård Av Barn) is a Swedish abbreviation that stands for paid time off from work to nurse a sick child. Swedish parents are compensated and protected by social security laws when their child is sick. This security creates norms and customs regarding when it is acceptable for a sick child to return to school, activities and other social spaces. The peak of claimed time off is in February or as Swedes say, VAB-ruary. In the case of the stomach flu, custom dictates a sick child stay out of public places for 48 hours after the last family member has ‘been sick’. Resulting in a child feeling well enough to be active but potentially contagious. Unchecked, this energy can result in crazy cabin fever or an opportunity for a sick staycation. We prefer a sick staycation.
Our TOP 5 sick staycations tips;
1) If it is cold, foggy or grey don’t hesitate GET OUTSIDE. Rollerblade, bike or bundle-up in a stroller and take a walk. With a little activity your child will forget they are feeling down. Pack a backpack and venture out in the woods. Make sure to have something was to drink and plenty of water. Take time to sit in the moss and listen to the birds. The woods offer shelter from rain and wind and imagination.
2) Dress-up and make a play or a movie. Let your child decide what character they want to be and the time will fly by. When they get a little older they can add music and edit their photos and videos into a movie. Check out or video ‘Indiana Elly’. We were lucky to get our big sister involved.
3) Get out the paint – join your child and make a mess. You might even make some unique gifts.
4) If you child is missing a lot of days from school, keep them up-to speed by ‘playing school’. Let them be the teacher and find out what subject they are interested in.
5) Play board games or put together a puzzel. This is a great way to wasted the time. Drink plenty of fluids – offer a favourite food or drink.