As a parent, it’s easy to overreact if your child gets sick. Every single cough or sneeze will ring alarm bells and before you know it you’re halfway to the hospital, only to find out once you get there that everything is absolutely fine. We’ve all done it at some point, we just can’t help worrying and parents can feel guilty if they feel that they haven’t done enough. There are certain instances when taking your child to see a doctor is definitely the right thing to do, but there are also a lot of situations where caution is better than panic. Some common ailments will clear themselves up given a bit of time so there’s no need to jump the gun. If you are a bit unsure about your child’s health, here are a few tips on dealing with some of the most common health problems.
Fevers happen all of the time, they aren’t anything to be worried about as long as they don’t last too long. When your child has a fever it’s because their body is fighting a virus in their body so it is actually a good thing. If their temperature is between 100 and 103 Fahrenheit, that is normal. If it starts to creep any higher than that, it is a good idea to have a GP at hand just in case. You should also be aware of how long the fever is lasting. It should take a few days for them to fight the infection, any longer than this and you should consider seeing your GP.
Ear infections are also very common in kids. Having a cough or a cold can often lead to an ear infection afterward. When excess fluid gets trapped in the ear it can get inflamed and become very painful. Parents tend to worry more than they need to about ear infections because they can cause intense pain. Fortunately, they are not as dangerous as you might think. Most ear infections will clear up themselves without needing any antibiotics. It might be a difficult few days but they’ll get through it eventually.
If the infection doesn’t go away naturally after two or three days, then it might be a bit more serious. At this point, you should see your GP and get some antibiotics that can help clear things up. Any children younger than two years should also be taken straight to the GP with an ear infection.
Pinkeye can be an absolute nightmare if you don’t deal with it properly. The infection, officially called conjunctivitis, is incredibly contagious. Infections like this spread like wildfire amongst children and if you aren’t careful they could pass it onto all of their friends in no time. The first thing to do if your child gets pinkeye is take them out of school. Most schools won’t let them return without a note from the doctor to prove that the infection is gone.
There are different types of conjunctivitis, it could be caused by bacteria or by a virus. If they have a viral infection then they don’t need eye drops, you just need to wait for it to clear up. However, a bacterial infection is a bit more serious and they’ll need treatment. Bacterial infections are more likely in winter, and in younger children. One of the easiest ways to tell if the infection will need treatment is if your child wakes up with their eyes glued shut. If this happens, take them to the doctor straight away.
*This is a collaborative post.