It's heart stopping.
The dreaded sound of your sick child screaming out for help in the middle of the night. You run to the kiddo's bedroom wondering what you will find when you get there. Whether it is an upset stomach, fever, or a sore throat, it doesn't change the fact that your child is sick. Do you call the doctor or wait? Should you take off work or hope that it will pass quickly? Is it a virus or something that requires an antibiotic? There are so many questions and as a parent, you want to do everything you can to make your baby feel better and FAST! I'm not doctor and I don't have a medical background, but the goal of this post is to let you know that you are not alone. I also hope to share some ideas for how to care for the little sickies in your family.
You can never be too careful.
When it comes to taking my sick kids to the doctor, I usually err on the side of caution. When I am deciding whether or not to take the kiddos, I usually take a few things into consideration. They are:
- How severe are the symptoms and are they interrupting life?
- How long have they had it?
- What's going around?
Once I ask myself these questions, I usually have a feeling one way or another. Lucky for me, my husband also worked in an ER for a while so he is a pretty good judge of whether or not they should be seen by a doctor. Recently, my boys both came down with sore throats, fevers, and chest congestion very quickly. Even though their symptoms were manageable with medication and they didn't have it very long, I still ended up taking them. My reason for doing so was because the flu is going around like crazy right now. I wanted to make sure to get medication before it was too far gone. In this case, I am so glad I trusted my gut because they both tested positive for flu. Anti-virals all around!
Day Care and School: Should you send them?
Both child care programs and schools have illness policies. The reality is that even with every person following the policy to a "T", sickness is going to spread. The annoying thing about germs is that they are often transferred before anyone even knows they exist. Those policies are put into place to reduce the spread of germs and, thus, illness. I look at illness policies like this: rules are rules and they should be followed. Call me a "goody goody," but what parent wants to be responsible for infecting the whole third grade?
To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate: That is the question.
Vaccines have been the topic of debate in parenting circles for years. My decision to vaccinate my children is what I think is best. I feel this way because I feel any protection against life threatening illnesses is better than none. However, your decision to not vaccinate is what you think is best because you feel the risk outweighs the benefit. Both of us are fully entitled to these decisions. When making this decision for each of your children, I simply ask that you do two things. First of all, consult your child's physician. Second, do your research on both sides of the issue and I don't mean on social media. Below are some resources to help you find accurate information about vaccinations.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of inaccurate information circulated about vaccines. As parents,we need to be diligent and thorough in our research so that our children's health is not compromised. Once you've done these two things, you can make a educated decision for your family.
Trust your gut
I often wish that our kids came with "How To" guides including what to do when they are sick. However, more and more, I am convinced that the guide we are given is our parental instinct. Each of us gets to choose what we think is best for our kids. While that might seem very daunting on many levels, it is also an incredibly amazing gift. Don't worry about the latest fad or doing what everyone else is. Stand up for yourself and your children. Do you research and trust your gut. No parent likes it when their child is sick so we do the best we can. You can do this.