Wednesday, 9 November 2011

When Your Child Is Sick


Before Abby went to school, she was one healthy babe who doesn't get ill that often. But when she does get sick, it hits her really hard because her immune system wasn't used to virus/ bacteria attack.

Now that she goes to pre-school, every so often, out of nowhere, she'll get a high temperature (between 38-40 C). With all the things you hear about, Meningitis, brain damage, we get really worried every time that NHS Direct has become our sanctuary for comfort.

We were told:
  • that a high fever can last for 48 hours
  • to give paracetamol every 4 hours, even if it means that we have to give less on some doses (40ml max per 24 hours).
  • that paracetamol is working even if it only drops her temperature by a few digits.
  • not to use paracetamol and iboprofen together
  • open window to cool the room and only cover her with a thin sheet, even if she complaint about being cold (which is because the body temperature is dropping and she couldn't adjust)
  • not to cuddle her (but she can sit on our lap) as this keeps the temperature high
  • not to put anything cold on her forehead as this will cause  blood vessels to contract and make heat loss slower.

It does help being told by specialists that a high fever over 39 C is not life threatening yet, but it doesn't calm us down. We were brought up to believe that we need to be covered up in thick blankets to make us sweat, and that putting a cold flannel on the forehead will help lowering the temperature. And if children gets too hot their brain will overheat and affect their developments. So the idea of doing the opposite is scary.

Anyway, we followed their advice. After all, they would know better than we do. Abby went through the hardest stage with temperature going slightly over 40 C, and is now as cheeky as ever. She is still having a fever but its below 39 C (I used to panic when it goes over 38 C). We can finally relax a bit, until the next time one of them gets sick again.

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