atnurse
Childhood Conditions, Mommy Diaries

When to Seek Professional Help When Your Child is Sick?

atnurse
A healthy child puts on a good smile on his face.

Would you believe if I’d say that my son at 18 had never been admitted in the hospital? Not once? Yes, not even once. It’s not to say that I am a perfect mom or that I did not have awful days for the past 18 years. Like most moms do, I went crazy calming Josh as he kept crying during his teething period, ran around giving sponge baths for his fever after his vaccine shots, and I definitely had bouts of losing my sense of reason when he had his asthma attacks. Name them, and I’d say yeah I endured them too, but there’s nothing compared to the feeling of nurturing a child no matter how difficult it may be.

As a nurse, I give credit to my nursing teachers who taught me well, and my colleagues who gave me an avenue to enjoy teaching andΒ  learning at the same time. Then there were the hundreds of patients who gave me an opportunity to gather a wealth of priceless experiences. All these are well kept in my treasure box. Then, I salute my mother, sister, sisters in law, mother in law and mommy friends who all modeled to me how it is to be a greatΒ  “MOM”.

I’d have to say, God has blessed me with the knowledge I need, given me the experiences that I can handle, and gifted me with wisdom from all the moms I know. As I gathered all these, I was spared some sleepless nights and anxious days from the burden of a hospital admission. It also meant that we saved some amount of money as we stayed in the comforts of our home during those difficult days.

So having been a nurse for 24 years and a mom for 18, I thought it proper to share what I learned over the past 2 decades. So, I made a summary of the things (but they are not limited to these) that need your immediate attention, and which tells you that it’s time to seek professional help.

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Telltale Warning Signs:

Infants (0 to 12 months)

  • Fever that does not disappear after 24 hours or is not associated with teething or vaccination
  • Convulsions
  • Swollen Fontanelle (the soft spot at the top of the head)
  • Rashes
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea (if it’s more than 3 times, immediately seek professional help)
  • Appears limp, flushed or pale
  • Cries a lot, irritable and is inconsolable (this is usually a sign of pain)
  • Fast Breathing
  • Has trouble swallowing and does not feed well

Older Kids (1 year old and up)

  • Fever:
    • that does not disappear after 24 hours
    • that occurs when there is no obvious reason for it
    • that can be caused by seasonal illnesses like measles, hay fever, chicken pox or hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD)
    • that is not associated with a previous vaccination.
    • that is accompanied by cough and cold, stomach flu, painful urination, sore throat or other unusual symptoms
  • Rashes
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea (if it’s more than 5 times, immediately seek professional help)
  • Keeps touching or scratching particular body parts like the eyes, ears or private areas
  • Unusual lack of interest to play
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Wheezing or crackling sound with breathing especially with a history of asthma

As a rule of thumb, I’d say timely response and immediate professional care should not be delayed when there is a need for it. You as a mom should know your child well, which means a slight change in physical signs or behavior tells you a lot about his or health condition. The old clichΓ©, “an ounce of prevention is better than cure” will keep you from a lot of trouble.

Media Credits:
Child Health: http://www.emmasdiary.co.uk/images/default-source/toddler/child-healtha43ddf84491d6e5b9e79ff0000427a78.jpg?sfvrsn=0
Childhood Diseases: http://www.newagepregnancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Childhood-diseases.jpg
Keep me Home: https://littletulipsfamilychildcare.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/sick.jpg
Suddenly Ill: http://www.cobbk12.org/mccleskey/sick.jpg
Crying baby: http://www.healthyhappysleep.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/crying-baby-girl.jpg
Baby is Sick: http://www.eurotrauma.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/baby-sick.jpg

Resources:
School Children: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/Symptom-Checker/Pages/default.aspx