As a pediatrician and mama, I am writing this in the hope that it helps ease some of the million and one worries we all have about our kiddos! Most importantly, trust your instincts. And if you feel like something is off with your little one, please bring them to your pediatrician.
When your child is sick and has a high fever, it can be one of the scariest feelings as a parent. Your little ones don’t look like themselves. Sometimes their temperatures are very elevated, they’re not eating, and mama panic mode sets in. Fevers are not all bad, though. They are the body’s primary immune defense, especially against your common cold. Since there is no “antibiotic” for viral colds, your body’s elevated temperature is your best defense against viruses. If your child (as long as they are over 2 months old) has a fever, treat it with fever reducers and always check in with your pediatrician if you’re worried. If they are under 2 months, they should be seen right away.
Having 3 young boys means a never-ending supply of tissue paper at our house. There is a constant runny nose, and sometimes it’s clear and sometimes it is neon green. But not every greenish-yellow full of boogers nose needs an antibiotic. A good majority of the sick visits that I see are viral infections, meaning that very few are actual bacterial illnesses that need an antibiotic prescription. So even if your little one has been having discolored, thick nasal congestion, it could still be viral. Most of the time, you can just treat at home with nasal saline spray and a humidifier. BUT if it has been going on for a while and they’re not their usual happy, energizer bunny self, please bring them to their pediatrician.
3. Coughs and Colds
4. During certain times of the year kids are sick . . . a lot
Pediatric offices are usually packed full from October through March with strep, flu, RSV, you name it. If your kid seems to get sick, get better, and then get sick again 2.5 days later, that is usually completely normal. Especially in younger kids who do not yet remember to cover their mouths when they cough. Or when your little one just starts school or daycare and is exposed to a ton of new stuff. Don’t panic if they seem to have back-to-back colds. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is called summer.
5. Immune System
- Colors! Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables daily helps increase your body’s supply of vitamins and antioxidants, and taking a daily multivitamin on top of a healthy diet is also a plus.
- Sleep is key. Young kids (>2 YO) need 10-12 hrs of sleep per night, and older kids (>6YO) need 9-10hrs.
- Hand washing is a great habit to teach kids from a young age. Wash your hands when you get home after being out, wash your hands before you eat, and wash your hands after using the restroom.
Healthy parenting, mamas and papas!