Dealing With A Sick Toddler

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I recently had such a scare and had to have my 3-year-old rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. I thought I’d share my experience and fears to help someone else who might find themselves in the same position and offer a few tips on dealing with a sick toddler.

After two days of a stubborn fever which would just not go down and Kal-El starting to get seizures (which I realized were due to the high temperature), I phoned the NHS helpline 111. I went through all his symptoms and they called out an ambulance. This on it’s own was scary, my husband was not answering his phone at work, it was the middle of the night, I had to have a teary conversation with one of his colleagues to go find him. After a few hours in hospital, they got his fever down, he started drinking fluids, played with his toys for the first time in days and was overall happy. Turns out he had croup. And as the doctor explained, croup comes with a very stubborn fever.

So I’m alone at home and at this point, all I want to do is cry my heart out and yell out to the heavens why! I managed to keep myself composed in front of him, although he was pretty out of it. As soon as my husband got home I ran into another room and had a good cry. Having strangers walk in at that time of night, with lots of medical equipment can be pretty scary for them, so it’s important to keep a happy smile and offer lots of reassurance. I grabbed some toys, a snack, juice and a warm change of clothes (just in case his fever broke and we’d have to be outside in the cold).

The next few days were the worse part. The paramedics had rushed him to hospital after checking his vitals, because they triggered a sepsis alarm. When she asked me if I knew what sepsis was, I had this cold chill run down my back. Yes of course, I’ve read lots of accounts of mothers trying to warn others about the dangers of sepsis and how it creeps up unexpectedly and takes their precious angels from them! So I found out what his vitals should be and monitored him at home the next few nights.

I have actually had people tell me that I am crazy for monitoring his vitals and even though I have manners an just smile politely, inside I’m thinking you should be neutered because you obviously don’t love your kids. So the next day the fever was back, he slept all day for about 3 days straight and I was just constantly checking his vitals and trying to keep his fever down.

Seeing your usually happy and vibrant baby (yes he may be classed as a child now but he’s my baby) just sleeping, not eating, not playing, not talking and not even wanting to watch cartoons or YouTube is pretty tough. I was beside myself with worry, at times a lot more than others.

Things To Remember When Dealing With a Sick Toddler:

  • Stay calm – They feel your anxiety and they’re so little, they might not understand what’s going on, why they feel so poorly. All they have is you, as a guideline of how to react.
  • Stay on top of their medication – whether it’s antibiotics or over the counter pain killers, remember to keep to the schedule and keep them topped up properly. Write down the times you’ve been administrating it and the dosage at each time. I was so distraught that I just couldn’t remember the last dosage of pain killers I had given him when the nurse at the hospital asked me.
  • Keep them hydrated – Sometimes this can be hard. I reverted back to give him milk in bottles, it was both comforting and good for him. Also, try just giving them some water or juice via a syringe. The doctor had told me that a bit of juice is fine, with him not eating at least it’s a bit of calories he’s getting in. Well, it was squash, not juice.
  • Give them a treat – If they’ve got no appetite, try giving them a bit of a treat, like a biscuit or a pack of their favourite crisps. When they are too poorly to eat anything, it’s not really the time to try to have the broccoli dance with them
  • Bath with them – He fell asleep in my arms during bath time, but I thought a bath might make him feel better, which is why I insisted he keeps taking them even though he didn’t want to. When you’re not feeling great (both physically or emotionally) doesn’t being refreshed always help?
  • Veg out – Snuggle up in front of Netflix alongside them. You are the most comforting thing to a child, don’t worry about the housework, just be there for them.
  • Read – Read both to them as well as for yourself, if that’s what you like. Lying in bed for days on end allowed me to catch up on reading, Netflix and play some games. And I also read aloud to him, when he was awake I’d read his favourite books and sometimes when he slept restlessly, I’d read my book out loud. The sound of my voice always helps him calm down.
  • Disinfect – Keep your hands clean, throw away used tissues, try to keep the germs from spreading.

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