When Illness Strikes

A sudden (serious) illness hit us a few weeks ago and there were several things I was really glad I’d had the forethought (for once!) to have at home, so I’m sharing. It was a very high fever, sudden in onset and it turned my go-getting three year old into an almost unresponsive zombie until we managed to get the fever down. Once it did go down, however, he went back to his usual rambunctious self quickly enough!

These are the items I was really glad to have on hand:

  • A reliable thermometer. In my experience as a parent, the “Mum thermometer” (skin to skin contact of some kind) has been invaluable, however there are times when you want to know exactly what’s going on with the numbers. Some people find the digital thermometers more accurate, others prefer the quicker (sometimes less accurate) infra-red ear thermometers. There’s no right choice, just whichever works best for your family.
  • Suitable pain and fever relief. The choices vary for each family, but I was glad I had something on hand to give him once the fever spiked. Our particular choice from the pharmacopia proved to be extremely effective.
  • Rehydrating fluids. When we were kids, flat lemonade was what we had when sick. That said, there’s a lot of sugar in it and it’s not particularly effective at rehydrating a sick child. Some people prefer a commercial preparation and this was my particular choice. I have some prepared as iceblocks- a child who is too sick to drink may just suck on an iceblock! This had the double effect of helping to bring the fever down. Other people prefer something home made, but when a child is sick and dehydrated, getting fluids into them anyway you can is the best plan.
  • A GP I trust. It was a weekend and if we needed medical attention, it would have been a trip to the emergency room, however, we have a GP I trust explicitly. She’s far more mainstream than I am, but she tells it how she sees it and she tells me WHY she sees it that way. It took us a long time to find one as good as her, and if I can help it, we’re going to be frequent fliers at her office for a long, long time to come.
  • Breasts. He’s three, he doesn’t breastfeed much any more. But when he was practically unresponsive except to cry miserably, it was nice to have a way to comfort him. And to know that there was at least one way to get some fluids into him. That just so happened to carry antibodies to the very bug he was fighting. Extended breastfeeding has been a difficult enterprise at times. I’ve often wished weaning would arrive YESTERDAY. On this day, I was really glad it hadn’t.
  • A sling. Obviously. My three year old opted for couch snuggles, but I was ready just in case I could squeeze some in with the wrap. See Georgie’s post on why babywearing seems to ease a sick child’s discomfort.

The pain relief was effective, the fever went down. By the time his Grandfather walked in the door bearing lunch, he was perked up enough to jump into his arms and then scoff down a large plateful. I was worried for a while there, though, and I’m glad I had these things on hand.

What’s in your medicine chest? What do you keep on hand for sick kids? Are yours sling-kids when sick or do they prefer to snuggle in arms on the couch? Leave a comment and let us know!

About Steph

Steph is a Mum of three with a passion for babywearing and some excellent skills with knots.
This entry was posted in Special Topics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When Illness Strikes

  1. sarahr says:

    I totally understand your mixed feelings about extended bfing! My dd1 will be 4 next week and is still bfing… I’ve been hoping she’d wean for the last couple of years but every time she gets sick I’m incredibly grateful she’s still at it. She won’t drink anything except water so there’s no way we could get rehydration fluids into her (or oral meds – we can only use suppositories) – breast milk probably kept her out of hospital more than once when we were in India.

    And she’s a sling addict when sick too!

  2. Christie says:

    I know exactly where you are coming from with that joy of knowing that if nothing else, breastmilk is super food/medicine. I have had two similar experiences recently with Miss 1: One where I had gastro and I knew I was offering her some potential resistance through my own body battling the virus, and currently where she has a dreadful flu and I am somewhat reassured that she is getting the best boost available from her breastfeeds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *