Caring for a sick baby is always stressful. Depending on your child’s age, he or she might not be old enough to tell you what is wrong, which adds another layer of complexity to your job as a parent. Fortunately, there are some symptoms that you can easily treat at home. If symptoms worsen, however, you should take your sick child to your child’s doctor pediatrician at Pediatric Partners of Augusta. With three offices and an after-hours clinic, we are always just a phone call away. Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re taking care of a sick child.
1. Know about medications
A first instinct when your baby is sick might be to give him or her some medicine. Depending on your baby’s age, however, there are limitations. Over-the-counter medications should be avoided in newborns. Children over 3 months can be given acetaminophen, and children over 6 months can take ibuprofen. Always use caution when dosing any medicine for your baby. You should always ask your child’s doctor pediatrician before dispensing any medications to your child.
2. Know how to treat a fever
Children who have a fever should wear light cotton clothes to keep them cool. If the fever is causing your sick baby noticeable discomfort, you can give her over-the-counter fever reducers appropriate for your child’s age. You can give them ibuprofen if they are over 6 months. Vomiting can accompany your child’s fever. When your child is vomiting, it can stop the fever-reducing medication from working. Keep acetaminophen suppositories in the fridge for cases like this.
3. Keep your sick baby hydrated and rested
It is important for children to drink a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration when they are vomiting and suffering from diarrhea. Make sure your child drinks plenty of water – not sweet sodas or other drinks. Pedialyte, which can be purchased at most retailers, helps keep children hydrated. Rest is a vital step in the healing process for your sick baby. They should sleep as much as possible. Be sure to monitor diapers and sheets to make sure they are dry.
4. Treat cold symptoms
Children with upper respiratory symptoms also should drink a lot of fluids. Use pure petroleum jelly for your child’s dry or sore nose. For babies who cannot blow their noses, you might have to clear nasal passages with a bulb syringe. Moistening the air with a room humidifier helps relieve congestion.
5. Know when to call the doctor
You should contact your child’s doctor pediatrician if your child’s cold, flu or stomach ache is getting worse after many days of treating these symptoms at home. If his sore throat is severe, continues longer than two days or is accompanied by a stomach ache, you should take him to the doctor. Your child’s chronic stomach pain should be left up to the pediatrician to treat as well.
We know it is hard seeing your sick child suffering. Do not hesitate to contact your child’s doctor pediatrician here at Pediatric Partners of Augusta if you have any concerns or if you notice your child is getting worse. Contact us as soon as possible so we can help you care for your sick child.
We now have three locations to better serve our patients. The Evans office is located at 411 Town Park Blvd., the downtown Augusta office is located at 1303 D’Antignac Street, Suite 2600, and the new Grovetown office is located at 5135 Wrightsboro Road. For more information about Pediatric Partners, please feel free to call the office at 706-854-2500, visit pedpartners.com, or follow the Pediatric Partners of Augusta Facebook page.