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To the child with a really high temperature, cough or cold

Last week, first one child had a really high temperature, and then the other two succumbed to the same virus too.

Soon all three of my children were suffering from fire and brimstone temperatures of 40˚C (104˚F). They each spiked two to three fevers a day, usually in the evenings and nights, sometimes at the same time. For the girls (aged five and seven), the illness lasted several days each. But my poor toddler, aged two, suffered for an entire miserable week.

Child with cold

So much for trying to lead a healthier family life.

And as I raced from one child to the next, mopping brows, administering medicine and checking temperatures (while feeling quite scared and coughing and sneezing with the same virus) I came to a few realisations.

Dear child suffering from a cough, cold or high temperature:

  1. If a parent is so concerned about your welfare as to want to bring down your raging fever, please kindly accept any medicine offered

    Don’t clamp your mouth shut and say, ‘No! No medicine, don’t like medicine’ or ‘That one’s yucky.’

  2. Likewise for drink

    If your mum is trying to serve you liquids which you’re not normally allowed in your bedroom after toothbrush time, like apple juice, believe me, she’s worried. Take whatever’s available. And if she is having to force fluids into you in a syringe, she’s very worried indeed.

  3. In the same way, please don’t put your hands over your ears when it’s time to check your temperature

    I have an ear probe thermometer, highly accurate and wonderful, and I love it. But it does need the cooperation of the poorly toddler. (Unless they’re asleep, in which case, break a leg. But watch out for that beeping noise beside your littlie’s ear. It has an annoying tendency to wake them up.)

  4. If your parents generously offer up a space in their bed to you, please be so kind as to avoid sticking your knee in their backs, lie there sighing or want to stroke their shoulders

    They will have only offered you bed space as a last resort. They will already be exhausted, having spent quite a long time trying to get you to go back to sleep by the usual methods, so please do them a favour – just roll over and fall asleep.

  5. Don’t then sob wholeheartedly when your mother tries to decamp you to the other side of the bed because your father has vacated it (having grown tired of the shuffling and the sighing and the knees and the small body pulsating heat next to him.)

    It means that your put-upon mother has to get out of bed to switch sides, while you lie in royal splendour.

  6. During the daytime, in between Calpol hits and fever spikes, please don’t go galloping around the house as though you’re on holiday

    While you and your parents  know that you’re not at school as your temperature shot very high last night and your body needs to rest, and that you’re hyper because you’re powered by medicine, the neighbours won’t understand. Particularly when they hear you singing through the walls and moving furniture around to put on ‘shows’.

  7. And if of your siblings is feeling really poorly and is curled up in a scary-looking ball on the sofa?

    Please don’t start asking the only adult present to get stuck into crafts with you.

  8. Children’s medicine is not cheap and when you’re ill, you go through a fair amount

    We’d therefore appreciate it if toddlers didn’t spit it out. Thanks so much.

  9. It’s also very sticky and difficult to remove from carpet

    So if you do decide to spit it out or tip the spoon everywhere, you must expect to be reminded of this event well into your teenage years.

  10. When your parents say, ‘Hmm, you’ve made a remarkable recovery, I think it’s time to go back to school’, don’t pretend to be all poorly again, as though school is an optional extra in life

  11. Finally, please humour your parents if you’re told your body is hot…

    …and that the duvet must be pulled off, your pyjama top removed and your forehead cooled with a moist flannel.  Don’t complain loudly, say you hate everyone and pull the duvet back up to your neck when you think no-one’s looking.

And here’s what I learned about nursing feverish kids:

– Children can hallucinate while experiencing high temperatures

My two-year-old saw a bee, a house and a tree in his pillow.

–  A spike in a child’s temperature can also make them vomit

(Possibly all over your bed if you were kind enough to move up for them as per point 4.)

–   Toddlers are most likely to refuse the thermometer, medicine, fluids etc when they’re shaking because their temperatures are spiking and they feel really grotty

Unfortunately, that’s when you’re feeling desperate, and are most likely to resort to blackmail and threats.

–  If your child has a really high temperature, here’s my trusty technique for using an ear probe thermometer on a toddler:

‘Please could you press this button, darling, to switch the thermometer on? Shall we check Mummy’s and Teddy’s ears first? Now it’s your turn – which ear shall I start with first?’

It was a roaring success for a whole day.

Sadly, he wised up fast.

tissues, medicine and thermometer

 


Comments (42)

  • Avatar

    Model mummy

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    So true!
    And the calpol hit – I experienced this during teething. My toddler would suddenly perk up before bed!

    Hope you are all better now. Sounds like a rough time : (

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      The Calpol hit is incredible – it’s strong stuff. The kids are much better, thanks. It was a tough old week.

  • Avatar

    Rachel Medhurst

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    Brilliant, I wonder if they’ll listen? :)

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Probably not. You’re right!

  • Avatar

    Astrid

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    I’m sorry your kids were this ill. I hope they’re okay now. These realizatins are great, but of course young children often don’t have the capacity to realize that taking thier temp, medicine, etc. are going ot make them feel better in the end, and they just think stuff feels bad now.

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      I know, you’re absolutely right. At the time, it’s all pretty desperate.

  • Avatar

    Orli D

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    Hope they all feel better by now! I hate it when my boys are unwell :( The thing to remember about high temperature is that any medicine will just lower it by about one degree (Celsius) so it won’t go down from 40 to 37… Also it might take up to an hour after taking the medicine to see an improvement.
    And lastly, dress them lightly if they have a fever, because it will help lower it.
    Loved the post :)

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      That’s very interesting about the temperature being only lowered by one degree. I didn’t know that. Stripping them off helped a lot too.

  • Avatar

    Cass@frugalfamily

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    I chuckled to myself reading a few of these – glad they’re all on the mend x

  • Avatar

    Michelle

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    Aww, hope they’re all feeling a lot better!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Thank you, yes, they’re lots better now.

  • Avatar

    Sarah Bailey

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    Great post – I remember spending many hours in my parents bed when I was ill as a child – I’m sure I was a royal pain. x

  • Avatar

    Kate Williams

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    Oh I hear you on all of those! I tend to get kicked in the head when my poorly son sleeps in our bed though…

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      In the head? Does that mean he’s sleeping top to toe with you?

  • Avatar

    Mummy of Two

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    Oh dear it sounds like you had quite a week! I can definitely relate to a lot of these!

  • Avatar

    Globalmouse

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    This did make me laugh – especially the medicine being spat out – it’s SO sticky isn’t it?! It’s so hard when little ones are ill, the worst feeling that we are totally helpless. I hope you’re all well now!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Glad you enjoyed the post. The kids are so much better now – but I’m still suffering!

  • Avatar

    VaiChin @ Rambling Through Parenthood

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    Could not be reading this at a more appropriate time – poorly tot curled on my knee, refusing to sleep after the Nurofen has kicked in!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Oh, good luck. Hope your little one is feeling better soon.

  • Avatar

    Jenny

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    I can relate to no. 6. as Calpol always seems to help my children recover just long enough for me to doubt they’re actually ill!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      It has that effect for me too.

  • Avatar

    Mammasaurus

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    Oh my I do hope the virus has gone now. I love how you have written this – funny but informative!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Thanks, Annie!

  • Avatar

    Sam @happyhomebird

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    This was very funny :) Recently my son was poorly and we went to the doctors to get checked over….well she wanted to check his ears and the piercing screams were so bad. Everybody was looking at us when we left the room. Poor lamb

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Oh no! I had that experience recently too.

  • Avatar

    Mums do travel

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    Oh my word, you must be exhausted. I hope they’re all better now.

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Yes, it was pretty tiring!

  • Avatar

    Emily (@amummytoo)

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    Gosh you must be tired! Miss J had a fever for a few days in the height of the summer and it was SO hard. She refused all medicine and comfort to the point we ended up in A&E with a nurse basically forcing the ibuprofen into her for her own good. Awful. Hope you are all better now x

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      That sounds dreadful – A&E is not a fun place to be at the best times. Thanks, we’re all fine now.

  • Avatar

    kara

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    Oh my – you must be exhausted. Mine tend to get ill one after the other. All the points are so true – if you need help with the medicine giving get a Spilly Spoon – its a miracle worker!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      I’ve not heard of the Silly Spoon! Will look out for it.

  • Avatar

    Sonya Cisco

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    Oh we are in this place exactly now, big boy was ill at the weekend, toddler now on day 3 of a temperature, but fortunately seems a little better in himself today. Hope yours are all fit now!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Hope yours are on the mend now. Sounds awful. Mine are much better thanks, phew!

  • Avatar

    Jen aka The Mad House

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    There is nothing worse than high temperatures and non medicine taking children. I hope you are managing to get some rest

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      We’re all on the mend now, thanks. Just this pesky cough to deal with now.

  • Avatar

    Agata Pokutycka

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    I am loving this post!
    It should be printed out and handed in to every child at school

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Thank you, that’s really kind of you!

  • Avatar

    Helen @ Peakle Pie

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    Oooh we know this quite well… Must admit some parts of this post made me laugh – it is nice to know that calpol is still a firm favourite.

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Yes, it’s really useful stuff!

Comments are closed