The Secret to Re-hydration During Flu Season – The Sick Bucket

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Yeah, we’ve all been there….or will be at some point or another. It’s midnight and instead of heading home from the ball in your glass slippers, instead you hear that dreaded sound. 

The sound that means the little amount of sleep you were hoping to get is going to be non-existent. 

The sound that means you have some long days and nights ahead of you. 

The sound of a sick child. 

This is not the moment to scavenge the house looking for pots or pans or buckets or anything at all that will catch vomit in hopes of preventing your sick kid from making a mess all over the living room floor or couch. It is survival mode. It is take care of the kids first, yet protect the furniture mode.

You need to be prepared. You need a ‘sick bucket’!

Sick Bucket Illness Kit

Being Prepared for When Kids Are Sick

As a parent, there are many times when you feel utterly helpless. Having a sick child is often one of those times. Luckily, there are still things you can do to be prepared for just such an occasion, and help your little one through it a little easier. 

In our house, we have a ‘sick bucket’ that we keep in the base cabinet of our linen closet. It is right outside our bedroom door and is ready and waiting for that dreaded late night wake-up call. All we need to do is grab it, dump out the contents if we need the bucket right away, and then set up our sick station with the items that were in the bucket.

Items to Include in a Sick Bucket

While these items are essentials for us, depending on the ages of your kids and your specific needs, the exact items may vary.

Bucket: First, the bucket. You need a bucket that has a wide top so chances of missing the bucket are a little less. It may also be a good idea to keep a vinyl tablecloth in the bucket so you can place it under the bucket to catch anything that doesn’t make it into the bucket.

Rags and cleaner: If for some reason your kids do miss the bucket (it happens), you’ll want something to clean up the mess. We usually put some older rags in the bucket that are used for just this purpose.

Clean Sippy or Straw Cup: When kids get sick, keeping them hydrated is key. Even my older kids, who are far beyond the sippy cup stage, love the ease of drinking out of a straw cup. I think it makes them feel more comfortable when they don’t have to lift their head up to take a drink, plus I don’t have to worry about spills!

Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution: Since Pedialyte is the #1 pediatrician-recommended oral electrolyte solution, we always have some on hand for those moments when we need it. It is better to be prepared than have to make a midnight run to the store. When kids (or even adults) are vomiting and/or have diarrhea, Pedialyte helps to prevent dehydration due to an optimal balance of sugar and sodium. Since hydration helps your body work correctly, it is important to maintain those vital fluids when you are sick. Plus, the kids love the flavor so that is a win-win.

pedialyte sick bucket dehydration solution

Working Thermometer: Be sure you have a thermometer that has charged batteries. Nothing worse than running around looking for the correct battery when you have a sick kid on your hands!

Fever Reduction Medication: We keep some children’s medication on hand just in case we need it. We hope we never have to use it, but if we do we want to make sure we have something available.

Non-medicated Fever Reducers: While we do have fever medication available, we typically try non-medicated tactics first. The thermal-aid bear can be tossed in the freezer for a bit and will help cool your child, plus it helps comfort the kids when they have something to snuggle. We also have character instant ice packs – my kids love ice packs for some reason.

Nasal Strips and/or Tissues: These are actually a must for me. If I get stuffed up and can’t breathe, I’m miserable. Since we typically have tissues in the house anyway, they won’t always be in the bucket.

Movies and Other Fun: Having a movie or two for ailing kids who are stuck in bed all day is always a treat in our house. If you are sick, you get to pick the movie! I also have built special fort-beds, and just make up comfy spaces where the kids can feel nestled in and relaxed while they are getting better.

sick child illness with kids

Set Up Your Own Sick Bucket

Flu season or not, illness can strike when you least expect it. Set up your own illness preparedness ‘sick bucket’ so you are ready. It is super simple to find all the things you need with a quick run to Walmart. The Pedialyte was super easy to find in the baby section (it is not in the pharmacy). 

pedialyte walmart sick bucket

Hopefully this isn’t a bucket you will need often, but you will be prepared just in case you do need it.


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Head over to our Facebook page to let us know how you deal with kids and illness.
We’d love to hear your ideas!

 I have been compensated by Pedialyte for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own.

Jesica H

When she isn’t drowning in a pile of never-ending laundry or picking up Legos, Jesica is busy helping other parents make their lives a little less stressful with homemaking hacks, easy recipes, fun DIY projects, and more. On her successful blog, The Mommy Bunch, her Cricut crafting tutorials are the most popular articles and are what sparked her passion for helping others build a business of their own. Jesica started where you can find loads more craft tutorials and business advice. In her FREE Facebook group, Rock Your Craft Business, Jesica teaches other entrepreneurs how to take their craft business to the next level by building their brand, targeting the right customers, and utilizing smart social media strategies. Join us!

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24 thoughts on “The Secret to Re-hydration During Flu Season – The Sick Bucket

  • March 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm
    That is a great idea. I always make sure I am stocked up on stuff for cold season, too! Reply
  • March 21, 2016 at 5:43 pm
    We just had the flu and pedialyte was so good to my sick kiddos. We always do pedialyte and powerade. Reply
  • March 21, 2016 at 6:05 pm
    We just got over a bug in this house and we used a lot of this stuff. Pedialyte was top on that list. It help my son feel better quickly! Reply
  • March 21, 2016 at 8:59 pm
    A sick bucket is a must in our house, especially that we have twins. These are great tips. Reply
  • March 21, 2016 at 10:47 pm
    The Stomach flu is the worst thing possible. I don't usually keep pedialyte on hand. My kids never liked the taste. I use water or sprite. Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 3:33 am
    It was a rough cold & flu season for us. Pedialyte came to the rescue more than once. Keeping them hydrated is so important. Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 7:52 am
    Pedialyte was really good for my kids especially last week they have a flu and Pedialyte was really helpful for them. Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 9:20 am
    I love this idea of a sick bucket. My poor little guy has been getting sick a lot this year already. Thanks for these tips. Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 12:38 pm
    Staying hydrated during the flu is so important. I like this idea of making a sick bucket. I will have to stock up on supplies. Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 12:49 pm
    Never thought of a sick bucket. What a brilliant idea. Thanks. I will have to create one too. Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 1:01 pm
    Sick kids, especially little kids, are hard. This bucket rocks. We give them a bucket but we also put a garbage bag inside so it's even easier clean up. Lee Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm
    Battling the flu season is such a drag and so daunting! I love the idea of this bucket as a one stop sho pfor everything you need to overcome the battle! Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm
    Haha is it bad that I'm like 100 years old and I still buy my slef pedialite when I'm sick?!? The stuff really work man! It really really does! Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 3:25 pm
    Amen to Pedialite!! I actually chugged a few bottles the last time I was sick and it made a world of difference!! Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 8:03 pm
    To this day, It amazes me how many parents don't use the bucket system. To be honest, my kids are really really good about making it to the toilet when they are sick, but they always run with the bucket! It is a life saver!! Pedilyte is such a great product to get their electrolytes back in order! Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm
    This post has reminded me that I need to go buy some of these items for those random times (my kids on't get sick very often at all), for example today when my daughter got sick! Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 11:07 pm
    Pedialyte is a pantry staple at my house. The last thing I want to do when my kids are sick is attempt to go to the store to buy some! So it stays in the house, just in case! Reply
  • March 23, 2016 at 1:12 am
    Thanks for sharing awesome tips.. I think it's very important to keep a thermometer and a sick bucket Reply
  • March 23, 2016 at 4:33 am
    Pedialite helped me survived the first week of March because I was down with a flu! It's very important to have flu medicines at bay. Reply
  • March 23, 2016 at 9:04 am
    There is nothing worse than the sound of a sick baby. Pedialyte is great and keeps my little boy hydrated when it's the most important. Reply
  • March 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm
    Flu season is awful! My daughter is currently sick right now and these could have not come in a perfect timing. I will try pedialite for her, thanks!. Reply
  • March 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm
    I hate it when kids are sick =( I need to set up this bucket. My son woke up with a fever no vomiting yet though. Reply
  • March 24, 2016 at 9:52 pm
    Staying hydrated during the flu is very important. I like this idea of making a sick bucket! I'll have to buy some supplies! Reply
  • March 28, 2016 at 2:31 pm
    This stuff is always a life saver when my preschooler is not feeling well. I like the idea of a sick bucket to carry around! Reply

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