Looking Out for Childhood Illness
Babies, toddlers and young children get sick – it’s part of our body’s development. Exposure to childhood diseases and germs makes your toddler’s immune system stronger and more equipped to fight the next invader. Ensure your toddler has plenty of rest, fresh fruit and vegetables, love and attention, fresh air and adequate sleep to help them avoid and get through those sick times. Trust your gut instinct (otherwise known as the second brain) when deciding whether or not to take your toddler to the doctor.
What to look out for when your toddler is sick
Your toddler can rapidly deteriorate in health and they can also recover very quickly from illness. It is important to be alert to changes in your toddler’s behaviour and general health and well-being so you can monitor and aid their recovery. If you notice any of the symptoms listed below you should seek medical advice. Even if there is nothing serious found, peace of mind and knowledge can be enough to make a visit worthwhile. Parenting is a lot about gaining confidence and knowledge for the next time something happens.
- Your toddler is refusing fluids and having less trips to the toilet;
- Refusing food for several days;
- Becoming listless, lethargic or unusually difficult to rouse;
- Inconsolably crying or screaming for hours and gaining no comfort from usual settling measures;
- Changes in skin colour such as a yellowish or bluish tinge, or reddish rash;
- Has a temperature above 39°C and rising or associated with fitting, or there is a family history of febrile convulsions;
- Remains febrile for a couple of days or more;
- Has liquid and frequent bowel motion that is causing nappy rash and abdominal pains;
- Has projectile vomiting after consecutive meals with no bowel movements;
- Is crying after pebble-like bowel actions. If the bowel action contains blood or stringy white mucous, is frothy, frequent and more offensive in smell than normal;
- Has a cold that interferes with breathing or feeding;
- Has an unexplainable raised rash on parts or all of the body;
- Has a red discolouration of either eye with a creamy discharge;
- Has a fall and is now crying in certain feeding or holding positions;
- Sustains a burn or a wound that you are unsure how to care for;
- You just have a gut feeling.
This information should not replace any medical or other health care professional advice you have sought, and if you are ever in doubt about your toddler’s health, it’s a trip to the doctor that is needed to allay any concerns.