The other day my six year old was sick. He caught a stomach bug (believe me, that's all you want...
The other day my six year old was sick. He caught a stomach bug (believe me, that's all you want to know). It was not pretty. But it got me thinking about what parents need to know when their child is sick. When you have a baby or young child who falls ill you need to make some important assessments. These assessments will come in handy when you call your care provider.
  • Is your child's activity lower or very different than usual?
  • Is your child eating normally? Note amount of foods and drinks ingested.
  • Is vomiting or diarrhea present? Look at the color and consistency (Ugh, but seriously this is what you signed on for as a parent). If there's blood in either stools or vomit contact your care provider right away.
  • how much is your child urinating -- infrequent or a lack of urination means that your child is becoming dehydrated.
  • Is your child flushed in the face or very pale?
  • How fast is your child breathing? What does his breathing sound like?
These are the normal types of questions you may be asked when you call the doctor for advice or to schedule an appointment. When a baby under the age of six weeks suddenly becomes ill he should be taken to the doctors immediately. If your child is older than six weeks make some assessment notes and if anything seems different or if you just have a funny feeling contact your care provider. I suggest having one or two great child health care books on hand even before you bring your baby home. The best by far that I've read is Taking Care of Your Child (by various doctors). This book covers every health condition that might come up. I've used my copy over and over since my son was born.

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