Parenting Lesson 12 - Cold, Cough and Fever in your child

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. Does my kid have the flu or just a common cold?

  2. How to give steam to my child

  3. When should I call my doctor about a fever? what medicines I can give for fever?

  4. How to do sponging of my child?

  5. How to check temperature of my child?

  6. All about ear infections

  7. Conjunctivitis or eye infection in children

Does my kid have the flu or just a common cold?

Usually, kids with the flu feel worse than if they have a cold. They might have a fever that comes on suddenly, with chills, a headache, and body aches. They can have a sore throat, runny nose, and cough. And they feel generally miserable and tired and don't have much of an appetite. Some kids even have belly pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Its advisable to visit a doctor who can check if someone has the flu by doing a test that looks for the flu virus.

How to give steam to my child

Steam can do wonders for a baby cough, since it helps break up the mucus. Run a hot shower until the bathroom has filled with steam, then sit with your child in the room for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not add Vicks VapoRub to hot water or any container where heating water. Doing so may cause splattering and result in burns. Having your toddler breathe moist air can help loosen all the mucus causing their congestion. Try using a humidifier, vaporizer, or just having your child sit in a steamy bathroom. If you're using a humidifier, make sure it's cleaned regularly to avoid spreading mold spores.

When should I call my doctor about a fever? what medicines I can give for fever?

Kids whose temperatures are lower than 102°F (38.9°C) often don't need medicine unless they're uncomfortable. There's one important exception- If an infant 3 months or younger has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, call your doctor or go to the emergency department immediately. Even a slight fever can be a sign of a potentially serious infection in very young babies. Infants younger than 2 months old should not be given any medicine for fever without being checked by a doctor. But for kids you can give Paracetamol or ibuprofen based on the package recommendations for age or weight. But make sure it does not contain Aspirin.

How to do sponging of my child?

Place your child in a bathtub with lukewarm (85°- 90° F) water. Sponge water over his skin. Evaporation will help cool the skin and lower the fever. If your child cannot sit in the bathtub, lay lukewarm wet washcloths on his stomach, groin, under the arms and behind the neck. Do not use cold water to sponge your child. This is uncomfortable and could cause shivering. This can increase the temperature. Do not add alcohol to the water. Alcohol can be absorbed into the skin or inhaled. This can cause serious problems, such as coma. If your child struggles with the sponge bath, let him play in the water. If he still is upset, it is better to stop, even if the temperature is still high.

How to check temperature of my child?

Before and after each use, clean the tip of the thermometer following the instructions for your particular thermometer. Turn on the digital thermometer. Place the tip of the thermometer under your child's tongue toward the back of the mouth and ask your child to keep his or her lips closed. Remove the thermometer when it signals that it's done and read the number. If your child has been eating or drinking, wait 15 minutes to take his or her temperature by mouth. When reporting a temperature to your child's doctor, give the reading and explain how the temperature was taken.

All about ear infections

If your child isn’t old enough to say “My ear hurts,” observe these things with your child- see if he is tugging or pulling his ears, fussiness and crying, having trouble sleeping, Fever (especially in infants and younger children), Fluid draining from the ear, Clumsiness or problems with balance, trouble hearing or responding to quiet sounds. Many doctors will prescribe an antibiotic, such as amoxicillin, to be taken over seven to 10 days. Your doctor also may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or eardrops, to help with fever and pain.

Conjunctivitis or eye infection in children

The eye infection conjunctivitis, also called pinkeye — is common in young kids. It's usually contagious, and breakouts can sweep through preschools and playgrounds. Pinkeye is an inflammation of the the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids. It's a minor infection and although it might look bad, usually isn't serious. Still, if your child shows signs of pinkeye, it's important to see a doctor. Some kinds of pinkeye go away on their own, but others need treatment.