Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Taking Care of A Sick Child

Last week, my mom got a call from my younger brother's school nurse. The nurse said that my mother needed to come and pick him up because he was sick. Since my mom was babysitting my son, she brought him with her to pick my little brother up. My brother was really sick, and the next day, so was my son. My mom ended up bringing my little brother to the hospital, and sure enough, he had influenza. The doctor told my mom to keep him out of school for at least a week, which my brother was ecstatic about, but I was not. My son had to stay at my mom's house for the next two days, and I did not want him to get any sicker than he already was. However, there was nothing I could do about it, so my son ended up staying with my mother and sick brother. For the next two days, my son ran a low temperature and was a little irritable, but nothing serious. When he was at home with me at night, he seemed fine also.

The first day that my son was back at home, he seemed to be doing well during the day, when he was up and running around. He did not act sick, and he ate and played like normal. I thought that he was over being sick. Once he laid down that night though, it was a different story. He spiked a high fever, started coughing and sneezing, and his nose was uncontrollably runny. The first thing I did for him was give him some infant Motrin. This was the kind of over the counter medicine that my doctor had recommended for any kind of fever or aches or pains. Soon after I gave him the Motrin, he fell asleep. I was overjoyed, but it did not last long. He soon woke up asking for something to drink. Obviously, he had a sore throat, but I did not want to give him any more medicine than I already had, so I gave him a drink of Gatorade, and he fell back asleep for about a half hour. He then woke up again, complaining that he was hot and that he needed to blow his nose. I changed him into shorts and a tank top and gave him a drink again, and he soon fell back asleep. That time, he slept until morning.

When he woke up in the morning, I gave him some more Motrin after taking his temperature. I decided to call my doctor instead of taking him in, to ask for some advice. I talked to a nurse at my son's doctor office, and she gave me some good pointers to follow. She said to watch the inside of his throat for any redness and blistering. Strep throat can be very serious for a young child, and it is easy for a young child to catch when his immune system is low. She also said to give my son popsicles or ice cream pops to keep his temperature down, and also to give him a cool bath if I was having a hard time keeping his temperature down. Another thing she said was to follow the directions on his medication carefully and not to mix medicines without consulting a doctor or nurse. Taking your child's temperature often will keep you informed on the way he is feeling, and also you will know if your child's temperature gets too high. If you are doubtful about your child needing to see a doctor, either call your doctor or make an appointment. Your doctor would rather see you, even if it were for something minor.

If you have a sick child at home, there are a few things you should have ready. Keep popsicles around, and also Pedialyte, which is a drink that will keep your child hydrated when he is ill. Also, keep Motrin or any fever and pain reducer and a working thermometer in your medicine cabinet. If your child is hard to give medicine to, make sure you have a medicine spoon or a medicine dropper to keep your child from spilling his medicine. Always let your child hold a stuffed animal or something else he likes if he does not like taking medicine. It will calm him down and make him feel safe and relaxed.

The best thing you can do for a sick child is love him. Sick babies love to be rocked, held, and read to. Keep your child dressed for the weather and away from other sick children if you can. Try to do everything you can to keep him from getting sick, but if he does get sick, do your best to make him comfortable!

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