Getting Your Sick Child Back To Sleep
Some symptoms awaken children from sleep and make it hard to return to sleep. How to turn off these symptoms is something you will need in your parent survival kit. The most disruptive symptoms are a bad cough, croup, a blocked nose, an earache, vomiting and fever. Here's some suggestions on getting the symptoms back under control:
- First: For continuous coughing, have your child sip on some warm apple juice. Children over age 1 can be given 1/2 teaspooon of honey to soothe the irritated throat. Children over age 6 can suck on cough drops.
- Second: For croup, use the cough treatment plus hold your child in a foggy bathroom with a warm shower running.
- Third: For a blocked nose, your goal is to unblock it. Use warm water or saline nosedrops to loosen up the dried mucus. Only then will suction or nose blowing work.
- Fourth: For an earache, give an appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Applying a cold pack to the outer ear for 10 minutes also helps some children. If you have any pain-relief eardrops at your house, use them. A few drops of olive oil will also work, but avoid any eardrops if your child has ear tubes or a hole in the eardrum.
- Fifth: For vomiting or worse yet, the feeling of impending vomiting, give your child as much water as he can drink. Hopefully, this will trigger the vomiting and get it over with. In addition, vomiting water feels better than vomiting stomach acid.
- Sixth: For a high fever, get your child out from under the blankets. Give an appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. A big glass of cold fluid may bring down the temperature. A cold washcloth on the head and neck will also help.
In summary, infants and toddlers have no patience with illness. Even harmless symptoms can make them miserable. The ability to relieve symptoms is what separates parents who stay up all night from those who can turn the light off again.
If you think your child may need to be seen, call your healthcare provider for advice.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/26/2008 2:20:32 PM
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.