My sons, Caden and Charles, started school after a very long rest. For Caden, going back to school was a breeze. Although he showed some signs of anguish after Christmas 2013 and kept asking if he was going back to school, his first day at Kindergarten 1 was nothing but a normal day for him. He knew his teachers and friends and shook my hands off when I brought him to take his temperature and check his palms to ascertain if he had the Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD).
The problematic one was Charles. As he was born in late November 2011, he was actually just over 24 months. We enrolled him into pre-nursery at the same kindergarten which Caden was attending. To prepare him for pre-nursery, I enrolled him 6 months’ prior to Julius Gabriel’s Playnest classes once a week so that he can mix with children of his own age group.
I have nothing but compliments for the Julius Gabriel’s team of staff and its curriculum. All of children were about the same age and there were 3 teachers in each class. The lessons were interesting and very engaging. My helper could also go into the Playnest classes with Charles and was quietly encouraging him to follow the songs and stories. The difference between the Playnest Classes and his Pre-nursery class now was the fact that we were not allowed to keep him company at his Pre-nursery class and parents were strongly encouraged to leave their children with the teachers at his new school.
The first day of school was not too bad for little Charles because my helper and I were with him. He enjoyed his playtime which was outdoors. The slide was his favourite. The only thing that bothered me was that all the other children in the class were crying for their parents. The 3 teachers spent most of their time trying to calm the children. The story time was not as enticing, fascinating and interesting as the story time at Julius Gabriel.
My helper who was also my children’ nanny took Charles to school the second day and she stayed outside to wait for him. Obviously, Charles cried because he was still so young and with the all unfamiliar faces around him, it made his day even worse. My helper was strong and vehement that Charles would adapt to his new school within one month. And true enough, he did not cry after a week at school. He followed one of his favourite teachers, Teacher Susan, around all the time.
With school, there comes school-work and the hated flu virus. After 3 weeks at school, Caden came home with a running nose. I did not bring him to see the doctor because we were all prepared. I gave him Chlorpheniramine, which was the common cold yellow medicine and told his dad to buy Zrytec Solution (Banana Flavour) from the pharmacy.
Since Caden and Charles shared a room, Charles caught the virus as well and also developed a running nose. After a while, Caden developed fever and cough which were common flu and cold symptoms. So I went to the pharmacy to get him Calpol and Fedac.
After a few days on the medications, Caden was well. Charles still had some mucus because he loved cold drinks and would drink his cold vitagen. We tried to stop and prevent him from taking the cold drinks but he would open the fridge himself to take out the cold drinks. He would also throw his little tantrums if he did not get what he wanted. Have you seen a 2 year-old throwing tantrums? It was nothing but hilarious.
Therefore, do not worry if your child cries hard on the first day at school or even he or she is in into their second week, it is natural. He or she is in a new environment without you. It takes about 3 to 4 weeks for them to get to know their environment and routine at school. Once in school, it is necessary for parents to hand over the children to the teacher-in-charge and leave. Even if the child cries for mommy or daddy, just let go as they have to grow up and familiarize themselves. Parents will also need to acknowledge the fact that children will come down with influenza or HMFD when they start school because the children form a cluster, so it is imperative to prepare yourself with the knowledge to treat your children.
My fridge is well-stocked with the Panadol solution for fever, Nurofen for high fever, Calpol for fever and pain (I find Calpol much more effective than Panadol), Fedac solution for running nose and cough, Chlorpheniramine for allergy and running nose and not to forget, Zrytec solution for allergies and running nose. I give my children Chlorpheniramine at night to open the airways, stop the running nose, and because the medicine makes the child drowsy, it enables the child to sleep comfortably through the night and get the rest that he or she needs. I also give my sons liquid Vitamin C to build their immune system to fight the flu bug. The liquid Vitamin C is sold at most pharmacies.
Oh yes, I agree that I have my fridge seems over-stocked with way too many flu medications but I am really kiasu when it comes to my children’ health, and I rather be kiasu and more cautious than to be callous and careless towards my children’ health. A healthy child is a happy child!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, though I come from a medical family. It is very important to seek medical help when your child falls sick. The information about medications which I have shared comes from a mother’s experience in dealing with common flu and cold symptoms. This article is for your reading pleasure only and I strongly urge all readers to read with an open-mind and consult your family doctor when in need and if your child is unwell.