Think Your Child Is Sick? 4 Practical Steps To Take

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Nothing hits a parent like their child being sick. Waking up to your child having an awful fever and coughing in bed can be incredibly worrying, especially after the global scare that came with Covid-19. Most of us aren’t exactly trained doctors either, so we can’t tell if a cough is something serious or not. So what should you do if your child is sick? What are the practical steps to take?

In this post, we’re going to explain a few things that parents should do if they believe that their child is sick.

Check your child’s symptoms and watch them carefully

The first thing to do is to check what symptoms your child is facing. You should observe them if possible and keep them away from other children. Let them rest and don’t do anything too rash at the moment. The last thing you want is to exacerbate the issue by forcing them to go to school or performing their own tests at home. If they have common symptoms such as a fever, cough, or runny nose, then you could give them some medicine just to stave off the symptoms. However, don’t give them anything too strong and keep an eye on their condition.

Care for them to see how the symptoms develop

Most symptoms don’t represent a major threat to your child’s health. A small fever, cough, or even a sore throat is generally quite normal. However, if the symptoms do get worse over time, then it’s a good idea to contact your family doctor. But if they don’t seem to be too serious and your child isn’t bedbound, then it’s probably enough to just take care of them and let them rest and recover on their own.

During this period, you should focus on looking after your child, offer your love and care, and encourage them to take plenty of fluids. Use over-the-counter medicine when appropriate, but don’t overdo it. Try to minimize stress as well by letting them relax, pushing back their homework to another date, and also letting them enjoy distractions such as video games and television.

Contact their school if needed

If your child should be in school then it’s best to contact them so they know what’s happening. Some schools may provide catchup learning materials to help your child get some work done at home but don’t put a priority on this and focus on letting your child rest. You’ll likely be told to keep your child at home even if they feel well enough to return because they don’t want to risk the possibility of an illness spreading among their pupils.

You should also contact other people if needed. For instance, if your child was scheduled to visit a friend, then you may want to contact their parents to let them know what’s going on.

Get in touch with your family doctor

If the symptoms don’t seem to be improving then your next best option is to get in touch with your family doctor. Book an appointment or consider contacting them online to have your appointment that way. Reaching out can help you learn more about the symptoms and the possible conditions that they could be related to. Keep in mind that your doctor will likely ask about things such as what they’ve been doing recently and what could have potentially caused the symptoms in the first place.

In some cases, you may need to reach out to your local pediatric urgent care center if the symptoms are getting worse. While it’s uncommon, there are situations where your child’s condition can get worse and lead to pain and major discomfort.

What you shouldn’t do

There are a number of things that you shouldn’t do if your baby is sick or if your child is facing some kind of illness.

  • Don’t force your child to do work or send them to school because you think they’re lying. Some children will admittedly feign illness to stay at home, hence why some parents will just send their child to school regardless. Give them the benefit of doubt, observe them, and take care of them with their symptoms in mind.
  • Don’t search online and use home remedies. While some simple and harmless things do exist (such as drinking honey lemon tea for a sore throat) there are other things that may cause additional harm and exacerbate your child’s condition.
  • Don’t panic and start searching online for what it could be. Self-diagnosis can be incredibly dangerous and will lead to irrational fears if you’re not careful.

We hope that this article has given you some helpful advice on what to do when your child is ill and how to stay calm in such a difficult situation.