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Caring for an ill child

Caring for an ill child

There it is, your child is looking very tired, moody, crying, and just not themselves. You give them a cuddle and feel they are boiling hot, check their temperature and its 38.5 degrees. Of course as a parent you start to worry, wondering what the problem is, where did they get it? How did they get it? Should I go to the doctor? Which medication should I give? The questions and second-guessing yourself can go on forever! It is probably safe to say that caring for an ill child is probably one of the hardest parts of being a parent.

Let’s answer some of those questions 

If your child goes to nursery, school, or playgroups, it is very likely that’s where they got ill. If your child has had recent vaccinations then that can also cause fevers. Children are born with a very low immune system, meaning they will catch every single illness that comes their way. Fear not though, as this is necessary to help them build their own immunity, so the older they get the less chance that they will get sick. So, it is actually a positive thing despite how very stressful it can be for a parent to see their child ill every other week. This winter my own daughter seemed to get ill with something every month, and didn’t seem to manage to miss a single bug that was doing the rounds! Doctors say children will have up to 12 colds/sicknesses in a year, so it is worth keeping track of this number, and if your child gets ill more than that then it might be worth getting in touch with your GP in case there are any underlying causes.

What is considered a temperature?

A temperature over 37.5 C is considered a fever. the Pediatric Clinic recommends giving medicine if the child’s temperature is 39 and over, or if your child is very uncomfortable you can give it at a lower fever. As a parent, we worry about fevers, but they are actually a good sign, it means the body is fighting the infection and doing what it is supposed to. Fever also promotes lymphocyte trafficking in the infection region that will get rid of the virus or bacteria (, so when you worry about the fever just remember it’s necessary to fight off the bug!

Listen and look when caring for an ill child.

If your child says they are not hungry that’s absolutely fine, the important thing is they drink water. This is because a temperature will deplete vital water from your cells, so very important to keep body fluid flowing! 

You know your child, in fact, no one does better than you! If your child is not his or her usual self (moody, tired, sleeping, not wanting to play can be normal for a child with a fever) but you think something is just not right, then you know when it’s time to see your GP or go to A&E.

When to see your GP or go to A&E 

  • If your baby is 3 months or younger and has a fever of 38C.
  • If your baby is 3-6 months and has a fever of 39C or more 
  • Has rash and a high fever 
  • Fever lasting 5 days or more 
  • If you are worried 
  • Has a high temperature that does not come down with paracetamol 
  • Is dehydrated; symptoms include not having wet nappies, no tears when crying, sunken eyes. 

What medicine can when I am caring for an ill child?

Give them paracetamol(3 months plus) or ibuprofen. ALWAYS check the packaging and leaflets to make sure the medicine is ok to give to your baby or child and if you are not sure speak with your GP. You can also check the NHS website

Never give aspirin to children under the age of 16.

Listening to your sixth sense is always a good idea, especially when caring for an ill child. Mums are rarely wrong 🙂

Tips for clearing blocked runny noses in kids

We have tried numerous nasal aspirators over the past couple of years but the best one we have found is simplicity in itself. This nasal decongester from Vital Baby is simple and affordable. It works simply by squeezing the body, and before you know it your baby is breathing through their nose easily again. Our youngest quickly understood it was there to help her, and even at the age of just 6 months she would happily let us put it to her nose. At just £5.49 it really is something worth keeping in the medicine cupboard!


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