It’s been 9 years dealing with a sick child and their parents. And I discovered something common in today’s parents. “They are too over-protective with their child’s health.” Here the child just sneezes and there you find them at the doctor’s desk.
I know its difficult seeing your child sick. Please don’t take this as a finger pointing on you. I never intend to do so.
But, here’s something crazy!
Defining “what is right” is not always simple for your child’s health. And sometimes you can do more harm by being too concerned over it.
I don’t say not to consult your doctor for your sick child, but majority common health concerns benefit from the wait-and-see approach rather than springing in action quickly.
Today, I will give you an account of the common health concerns of a sick child. Plus, when you need a doctor for your sick child.
What is fever?
Fever is an elevated body temperature accompanying an infection. If your child has a fever, it means his body is actually working to get rid of the bacteria/virus.
Thus, fever is protective for your child. It shows that the body’s defensive forces work well to combat the illness causing germ.
Now, this may be challenging for you to hear!
What should you do in case of mild fever?
Give plenty of warm fluids to your child like warm soup, warm water, etc.
Serve him a balanced diet with fruits and veggies.
Allow him to sleep for 8-10 hours a day. Give him adequate rest.
Watch his symptoms for 48-72 hours and consult the doctor only if:
- The fever is over 100.5 degrees
- Fever doesn’t go down even after 3 days
- The child looks very ill even with mild fever
Key point: Don’t expect fever to go down from 101 to normal with one dose of medicine. If your child seems well, but his fever hasn’t gone down much, that’s ABSOLUTELY OK.
#2 Ear pain
Though I have written a full-fledged post about ear pain here, I wish to stress on some key points in this post.
Nearly 50% kids with an acute ear infection recover without any antibiotics, as per a study in Pediatrics.
Don’t diagnose an ear infection the moment your child complains of an ear pain.
Wait and see if the pain increases/subsides within 48 hours
Rush to the doctor only if:
- Any fluid drains from the child’s ear
- Child is under 2 years of age and complains of severe ear pain
- Pain is accompanied by high fever
- Pain doesn’t improve within 48 hours
Many parents ask me to give a preventive so that their child doesn’t suffer from fever/diarrhoea while teething.
But, let me tell you a fact!
So, when your child is teething:
Try teething toys or a wet washcloth chilled in the freezer for 15-20 minutes
Always wash your hands and the child’s after using the toilet, before, and after eating
Use a disinfectant to mop the house floors
Clean your child’s toys once/twice a week (as children put toys in their mouth while teething)
Give him finger foods to chew upon and relieve gum pain
Consult your doctor only if the child has a fever above 100 degrees or is in severe pain.
#4 Cough and cold
Seasonal cough and cold makes up for 80% of the cases reporting to my clinic, yet I don’t prescribe medicines for all.
And that’s a reason behind it.
Most cases of cough and cold are mild and will go away on their own. There’s no need of pushing medicines down your child’s throat for mild symptoms.
Instead, what you can do is:
Give plenty of fluids to your child to prevent dehydration
Take care of his diet. Ensure he eats well, on time, and a balanced diet rich in Vitamin C
Use saline nasal drops and hot steam to relieve stuffiness of the nose
You can also give him a spoon or two of honey to soothe the throat
Say Hi to your doctor only when:
- The child has a high fever above 100.5 degrees
- You see no relief in symptoms after 3 days/ symptoms get worse
- Notice green/yellow discharge from nose/mouth/ears
- The child complains of severe ear pain
So, am I reluctant to treat your sickchild?
Well, after reading this post, I may sound so. You might feel I am not interested in looking after your sick child and giving him the ‘right’ treatment.
But, as I said, ‘what is right’ regarding your child’s health is not always simple. However, if you keep the below guidelines in mind, it gets a lot easier.
Your sick child needs a doctor ONLY when he has:
- Continuous fever of 100.5 degrees or more for over 3 days
- Severe ear pain with bulging of ear drum/draining of the fluid
- Yellow/green discharge from the nose/eyes/ears/mouth
This is to ensure you don’t push unnecessary medicines down your child’s throat and help him develop a healthy and strong immune system.
So, what’s your reaction to my unusual advice in this post? Still in doubt? Well, you can either post them in the comments below OR have one-one discussion with me by signing belowConsult Us
If you are satisfied with my advice here, go and share it with other parents too! They genuinely need it!