Parents often get very frantic and upset when their child gets sick. The following are some tips from a nurse on how to deal with sick kids and some common symptoms that come with common ailments.
- A fever is actually a symptom of an infection or a change in the normal body function. Parents can take it as a good sign because it shows that the body is trying to fight off the intruder. Doctors do not recommend giving fever medication if the fever is just low grade (anything below 100.4) because it is best to let the body fight it out and develop a stronger immune system.
- In connection to #1, parents should understand that getting rid of the fever does not mean that the infection, or whatever is causing the fever, goes away also. If the high-grade fever returns, after four to six hours, it is best to bring the child to a doctor for a checkup. Fevers that come and go for up to three days should be brought to the doctor’s attention.
- If the child is less than three months old, bring him to a doctor immediately if he shows a fever, even if it is low grade. The immune systems of babies are not strong enough to deal with infections and other diseases and they need all the help they can get. A lot of nurses and doctors prefer parents to do this until their child is more than six months old.
- When kids have a fever, watch out for other symptoms such as, difficulty breathing, pain when using limbs, the development of spots or bruises, abnormal skin color and excessive sleeping or difficulty in waking the child. If one or more of these are present, do not hesitate to bring the child to a hospital.
For a Cold
- When kids have a cold, they exhibit symptoms that can be alarming such as a fever (refer above), sore throat, lethargy and fussiness. All these should be treated with patience and understanding, especially with children under the age of five. They have difficulty expressing how they feel and may not know what they want.
- Experience is the best teacher when it comes to dealing with each individual child with a cold. Parents should take note of the symptoms for future reference. Some kids throw up because of their itchy throat, especially when they eat or drink. Others may have red, swollen eyes and congestion due to allergies triggered by the cold. Despite being familiar with the symptoms that each child manifests, parents should also be vigilant with new or uncommon symptoms.
- Ease up on the cold drinks if kids have a cold. These can aggravate the sore throat and make them more fussy and difficult to handle since they are uncomfortable. Herbal drinks are also great for treating the symptoms of a cold but if your child is still under a year old, it is best to avoid honey-tea.
These are just a few tips from a nurse that can help when it comes to caring for sick kids. Parents should always be vigilant regarding symptoms or behavior that are not common and bring these to the attention of a doctor immediately.