How To Deal With A Sick Toddler

In Australia, it’s that time of year again. Winter = cold, germs and snuffly noses all around. Of course sickness can strike at any time, but winter seems to be a prime period for those nasty little bugs to make an appearance. When you toddler gets sick for the first time it can be incredibly stressful, therefore I wanted to document our first proper experience and offer some advice in today’s post!

So far, Felix had only had a small amount of mild colds which only involved a few coughs and runny noses. That was until the weekend just gone.

Rewind to Saturday morning, Felix woke up and was happy and playful for the first hour, and then all of a sudden he changed. He became extremely sooky and clingy, wouldn’t stop crying and refused to eat. Of course I began to stress, as I had never seen him like this before. My anxiety started escalating as it does – I began thinking of all the worst possible scenarios in my head which I know is not a good idea, but I was a worried mumma! Thank goodness Felix has such an amazing Dad who calmed me down while we checked his temperature.

It read 37.8 degrees celsius! “That’s too high!” I exclaimed, grabbing my phone to call the doctor. Nick wanted to wait a little to see how Felix would go as he wasn’t at 38 yet, (which indicates a mild fever), but at that stage I was already chatting to a lady at reception. I booked Felix in within the next half hour and we headed to the doctor.

Once we arrived, of course Felix perked up and wanted to play with all of the toys in the waiting area.  I calmed down a bit and realised that if he was severely sick, he wouldn’t have the energy to run around the waiting room like a nutcase in his dressing gown. However I still wanted him to be seen as we expected the Panadol had obviously just kicked in.

Once we were finally called and the doctor had checked Felix out, he was diagnosed with a viral infection and his temp had also hit just past 38 degrees. The treatment? Not much. We were told to keep him cosy but in not too many layers, keep up his fluids and repeat his Panadol once the six hours had past from his first dose. We then headed off home with our little patient.

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HOW TO DEAL WITH A SICK TODDLER – Advice

  • First of all it depends what is actually wrong. If their temp seems to be normal, just keep them home but stay wary. Keep them cosy and offer plenty of fluids, rest and food if they will take it.
  • If their temp is 38 degrees or more, definitely take them to a doctor for a checkup. They may have some sort of infection or illness that could require antibiotics. Of course you can take your child to the doctor if it isn’t that high as well, better to be safe than sorry! While you are out, make sure to pick up some children’s Panadol because you’ll need it.
  • A sick toddler is going to sleep a lot, and randomly in broken patterns. So just allow them to have as much rest as possible so they can fight off those germs and get better faster.
  • I highly recommend a steam vaporizer for their bedroom. This will help them to breath a lot easier, especially if they have a super stuffy nose. Also we like to get Felix a saline nose spray for when he’s not well, the brand we always get is called Fess Little Noses Saline Spray What this does is loosen the mucus so your child is able to breath much easier. It’s a must have in our books.
  • When you little one is sick, it is normal that they won’t have much of an appetite. Still offer food, but make it simple. My recommendations would be fruit such as bananas, watermelon, toast and jelly. If they are confident with a spoon perhaps some nice warm soup. We also offered Felix warm honey and lemon water for his throat, however he didn’t like it.
  • Keep them hydrated as much as possible. We also made sure to keep one of Felix’s drink bottles close to his bed at night so that when he would wake up randomly, it was already there for Nick and I to offer it to him. We noticed after a sleep he would go crazy for his water!
  • This is pretty obvious, but just make sure you are taking extra precautions with hygiene when preparing food, nappy changes and visiting the bathroom. Wash your hands thoroughly, and have hand sanitiser available in the house as well.
  • Don’t stress too much over housework. Just do the bare minimum. You can always come back to it once your toddler is feeling a bit better. The best thing you can do is just be there for them. Hold them and give them cuddles. Felix wanted to sleep on either Nick or myself while he was sick so if you toddler is the same, use this as an advantage to catch up on you favourite movie or a good book whilst they sleep safely on your lap.
  • Don’t blame yourself or others to why they are sick. You may have some ideas floating around but don’t dwell on them. Your main focus now is to help them get better. Also try not to get too overwhelmed if their temperature doesn’t drop fast enough or it all gets a bit much. Being a parent is damn hard sometimes! If you have bad anxiety and can’t handle well, please don’t feel like you have failed. We all do things the best way we can! If you need support from your partner, family or even close friends, that is totally okay and you shouldn’t feel ashamed to reach out if you need some extra help!
  • If they appear to not be showing signs of improvement or getting worse, higher temp etc, definitely take them back to the doctor for further evaluation. Kids are pretty good with fighting off these things quick, but don’t ever feel like you are inconveniencing the doctors as they are always happy to take another look!

Felix got over his infection after about three days, and my goodness was he pleased when he finally started to feel better! So mummas, while it may seem like it takes a life time, while it can be scary especially if it’s their first cold/flu etc, just remember that they will get better and YOU GOT THIS. Your toddler isn’t going to love you any less while they are feeling poorly, and although it may be hard to watch them through the tough times, being there for them makes all the difference in the world. It’s just a part of life and a downside of becoming a parent unfortunately, but it saying that, the upside is eventually you will get your happy little baby back!

That’s all for today’s post, I hope it may of helped some of you out there! If you have any extra tips on how to deal with a sick toddler/child that I didn’t mention, feel free to leave in the comments!

Love, A xx

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