Tips for Caring for a Sick Child
When Your Toddler is Sick – Home Care that Helps! Today we will focus here briefly about caring for a sick child.
One of the curses of parenthood is that your child will always get sick or begin running a fever about 15 minutes after the doctor’s office closes on Friday.
This means either waiting until Monday or enduring a walk-in clinic or emergency room which can be germy and exhausting for more reasons than one.
The last thing you want to do is risk-taking a teething baby to the physician just so they can pick up some virus or bacteria. First and foremost, parents need to get in tune with their babies. If you think something is wrong or off, it is good to assume that you are right!
Fever is common! The rule of thumb is if you have a newborn or infant who presents with a fever you should no doubt take them in. Early on in life, a fever can be a sign of a risky infection (although it rarely is).
Other than that, you may notice that your child looks tired, has hot hands or feet or is just a little pitiful. When you take their temperature anything 100.4 and above are considered a fever. Here’s the thing that many parents don’t realize.
A fever is a way your body fights infection and if it is the low grade you may be doing your child a favor by allowing the fever to run its course. If you keep giving them medicine, just for fever, you sort of sabotage their immune system.
Obviously, as the fever spikes to the 102 mark, it can make your child miserable and rotations of Advil or Tylenol will make your baby much less fussy. Check dosages and call your pediatrician to ensure there is no problem giving your baby medicine.
If your baby gets a stuffy nose, cough or congestion there are a few things to look out for. First off, if its croup which is very common. They will have a very deep, barky seal sound when they cough which normally will be at night time.
It sounds horrific, and it definitely means you should visit your doctor for an antibiotic but it is something you can care for at home. One recommendation is to run a steamy shower and bring your baby in the bathroom.
The humidity will help to open their lungs. If they seem to have trouble breathing, allowing them to inhale the cold outside air or the air from the freezer can also help them breathe better.
The third thing you can try if your child seems to extra congested is to offer some hot chocolate or a few sips of coffee. The caffeine stimulant can help to open the blood vessels in the lungs and make breathing easier.
Many parents forget to use vaporizers as well. They can be a tremendous help with or without steam and can help to add moisture to the air to open up the bronchial tubes.
Saline solution and a bulb syringe are phenomenal, non-medicinal partners to helping clear a little stuffy nose as well. A very small baby cannot blow their nose and depend on parents to help them clear the congestion.
A good rule of thumb also is that if the mucous discharge is clear, chances are your baby doesn’t have an infection. If it is yellow, green or any other color, chances are it is an infection.
One of the most common illnesses for children is an ear infection. They may or may not have a fever and you may not know they have one until you try to lie them down for a nap. The reason is that the pressure is greater when they lie down.
If they run a fever and seem very fussy and inconsolable, a simple doctor exam of the ears can confirm an ear infection. They will more than likely prescribe you oily ear drops that will numb the ear canal and help them to feel better soon.
The best thing to do is to prepare your home with a medicine kit. Include Advil and Tylenol for fever as well as hot and cold compresses in your kit. Keep a working vaporizer, saline solution, bulb syringes on hand and in the diaper bag so you will be prepared for anything.
Gas medicine for upset tummies is critical in the first few months of life and keeping the number to your pediatrician on speed dial can help you ease the worries of having a sick child at home.
Use common sense, and never give medications to a child under 2 without the advice of a pediatrician. If you have any doubts, feel free to contact a nurse line or call center to get reputable advice.