It is that time of year again! It is Summer vacation here in sunny Southwest Florida, and our children are ready to run and play. With out children out and about with friends, and family members it is easier to pass on illnesses. So, don’t let those aches, fevers, screams, coughs, and discomforts interrupt you and your child’s vacation. There are times when these seemingly small issues can turn into something larger such as ear infections, influenza, and strep throat. Thankfully a lot of times these colds only temporarily disrupt our lives and then seemingly disappear, all thanks to our immune systems. Sometimes, however, we can have symptoms that linger and make us miserable.
As parents and loved ones, we hate to see children in any discomfort, and want to make these symptoms go away as fast as possible. This is especially the case when it comes to infants and toddlers when they cannot explain to us how they feel. Even though there are not many wonder drugs out there to help with these situations, there are some wonderful over the counter medications that can help(acetaminophen and ibuprofen).
With that being said, you should always check with your pediatrician about what medications are OK to give to your child before administering anything.
A golden rule that is great to keep in mind is, treat your child, not the thermometer. If you little human is bouncing around your home, screaming, running around in circles, but feels warm to the touch you should confirm the temperature with a thermometer. Your child may have the sniffles and the thermometer may read 101.7 degrees, but don’t instantly reach for the acetaminophen. A lot of times these medications are not needed. Try keeping your child hydrated with water, have them cover their coughs, and make sure they get rest to help their bodies get to work with ridding the infection. The acetaminophen should be used when your child is not feeling well, achy, or just not feeling like their self at overall. Treat the child, not the thermometer.
The most important over the counter medication for an ear infection are acetaminophen and ibuprofen around the clock for the first 48 hours. Most children will not need antibiotics after the age of 2, and can heal alone if given time. The best way to reach this goal is to make sure you are taking away the pain from these infections.
A lot of people who care for infants and toddlers are often desperate when their babies are sick. These younger children can not tell us what is wrong. Our lives are disrupted, and watching our babies have issues with sleeping, coughing, and vomiting isn’t easy (obviously even more so on a tiny baby that does not understand what is happening). It should be duly noted that cough and cold medicines and not helpful in young children, and can be quite dangerous. It is best to reach for a teaspoon of honey before any medications, as long as your child is over 12 moths of age. If your child is under 12 months, or you feel your child is very sick, please consult with your doctor.
With all of this Summer free time, many people will be around your child. Be sure anyone who is giving medicine to your little ones are using the proper dosing device that came with the medication, and are not dosing with the kitchen spoon like Grandma use to do when we were kids.
When it comes to medications, always dose by weight, not age in young children. Always call your pediatrician’s office if you ever have concerns over proper dosages. These questions are never silly, and no nurse or doctor should ever make you feel uneasy about asking these questions.
Caretakers are smart, and know their children well. They know the patterns of their children and can easily recognize when a child is not feeling well. If you feel as if something is not going the way it should be, do not hesitate to call your pediatrician. If you feel your child’s fever has lingered too long with or without acetaminophen, contact your pediatrician. Please remember that you do not have to hold off on giving your child medication before a visit to your pediatrician unless advised not to. It is important to keep your child comfortable. A lot of parents feel that by not treating a child that a doctor will be able to see exactly what is wrong more easily. If you are giving your child medication for a fever, this will not mask anything important. Your Cape Coral or Fort Myers pediatrician will still be able to understand how your child is feeling.
Always follow the rules on the bottle, use the dosing device that comes with with medicine, and keep everything out of reach of children.
If you ever feel the need to give your child over the counter medicine, it’s a great idea to check with your pediatrician at MacKoul Pediatrics first. Give us a call at (239) 573-2001.
MacKoul Pediatrics is an amazing local pediatrics office in Cape Coral, FL where caring, compassionate doctors and nurses work with you to keep your children as healthy as possible. MacKoul cares for children from birth to college age, from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, and beyond.
March 21, 2018