For many of us across the country that calendar says its still winter. However, if you look outside it feels like spring or almost summer. Now, we cannot forget that it’s still cold and flu season. Statistics show that viral and bacterial illnesses increase during the winter when children spend lots of time indoors. Between my own home and my classroom my life is just one enormous germ bubble! My day consists of tissues and hall passes to visit the clinic to see our school nurse. My kids have all the symptoms the tired eyes, cough and runny noses. They only question that keeps going through my head…How long is this going to last?
It’s very easy as parents to sometimes get all caught up with the pediatrician on speed dial. All of us that have children in daycare know the basics if your child has a fever, they cannot go back until they’re fever free for 24 hours.
Here are a few basic guidelines to help you out… There are always exceptions, as children are all different. However, this is just a troubleshooting guideline.
- Fever: could it be a viral infection or bacterial infection? Doctors and nurses usually refer to the fevers as low grade or high grade. A Low grade fever ranges (101-102 degrees) this is usually a sign of a viral infection. If it is viral it will have to work through your child’s system on its own. Depending on your pediatrician he/she may recommend ibuprofen or acetaminophen. A High Grade fever ranges from (103 or higher) in many cases will need antibiotics to treat.
- Sore Throat: also known as a red and irritated throat. Moms will often hear your child complain and describe their throat as itchy or scratchy. A cough does not mean your child has strep throat. Many times Mom’s are able to spot strep throat. Have your child open their mouth, use a flashlight and say ahh… Now, if you see white puss pockets…well call your doctor. They’ll most likely call you in for a throat swab.
- The Common Cold: usually lasts for approximately 10 days. Now the annoying dry cough could linger for as long as 3 weeks. It’s best to keep your child comfortable during this time. Lots of fluids, kisses and hugs.
Make sure you kids have lots of fluid and stay well hydrated. Rest is very important so make sure you make them relax and take it easy. My kids always do well when they have lots of carbs when they are sick such as toast or pasta. This seems to perk them up so I add lots of noodles to the chicken soup! This is advice is just from one mom to another. You should always consult your pediatrician for advice. Stay Healthy!