How To Deal With a Virus

When our children become unwell, by even a common virus, we worry. My son, who turned two recently, and who has rarely been ill, had a virus and developed a rash.

The first thing we did was to check the common symptoms of measles and rubella. But the rash disappeared under glass, and it was only located on his face, a little on his chest and back. I ensured he saw a doctor promptly, I explained the symptoms over the phone, so the surgery could take relevant precautions should they need to. The doctor examined him and said its just a virus, and nothing to worry about.

He was himself throughout the majority of the illness, with energy and playing, but lost his appetite. This for me is hard to watch, more so as he is a bad eater on the best of days.

We went through the usual routine, checking his temperature and making sure it wasn’t too high, and making sure he was comfortable. If we felt he was uncomfortable we gave him a dose of paracetamol (Calpol). We also kept him in loose clothing, like a vest or T-shirt and just his nappy. This helped regulate his body temperature, and also helped as the weather has been warmer than usual in London.

Even when my son does have a fever, I don’t always like to reach for paracetamol straight away, as a fever is a symptom, not an illness, and in fact, helps eat to away at the invasion of bacteria or virus. Of course, if he’s running a fever too high, or is uncomfortable, we give him a regular dosage (up to 4 times a day, at least 4 hours in between each dose).

If his fever lasted more than 48 hours, I ensure he sees a doctor again, just in case there are other symptoms I may have missed. But generally, the routine check-up is ensuring his made to feel comfortable, while his little body fights off the virus. Same old advice:

  • If symptoms worsen bring him back
  • Make sure he has plenty of fluids such as water, milk or squash, sometimes even ice lollies. Basically, any soft drink that will keep him hydrated
  • Ensure he is eating (but don’t worry if his not eating much, so long as he is drinking)
  • Give paracetamol if he needs it

Etc…

We followed our guts and did what’s best for our son, and within one week he was fully recovered.

The key things to follow are:

  • Ensure regular and nutritional foods are offered as usual, maybe in smaller quantities. If they don’t eat, or only have a little bit, don’t worry and don’t force any food
  • Ensure your child stays hydrated
  • Check your toddler or baby is still producing a few wet nappies a day
  • Ensure your child’s body temperature is kept regulated, do not wrap up too warmly
  • Ensure the child’s room is a comfortable temperature, 20 degrees Celsius is ideal

Other tips and tricks I have learned, which helps my son get a good nights sleep when unwell are:

  • Calpol vapor plugins, this provides menthol to the room, helping baby to open up airways, and doubles up as a night light
  • Humidifier to ensure the air is clean in the room
  • Keep the child’s room ventilated
  • Baby massage, to help relax your child
  • If your child has a cough, then rub baby vapor rub under his feet, this always works a treat with my son
  • Steam in the bathroom
  • Change sheets at least every other night to remove any germs
  • Last but not least, and maybe a strange one, but I swear by this; chopped up onion near where the baby/child is sleeping. This actually helps kill any bacteria in the air. I usually place in a freezer bag and poke holes, and tie near my sons bed (throw away within 24 hours and replace with fresh onions).

If you are worried about your child’s symptoms, or they are not getting better then ensure they see a doctor.

I hope these tips help!

 

 

 


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