If you are like most moms, seeing your kid under the weather is difficult to take. While you know that bouts of illness will occur, watching your little guy suffer through them can be taxing. One of the illness types that you are likely to see frequently as your child grows is a cough and fever combination. If this duo hits your child, there could be an assortment of causes. Educating yourself on how to deal with this sickness is a wise choice.
Taking your Child’s Temperature
While you can likely feel if your child is a little warmer than normal with just your hand, you can’t rely on this imprecise measuring tool when making medical decisions. If your child feels warm, take his temperature so that you can better respond to his needs. If your child is too young to hold a thermometer in his mouth, use another method, such as measuring under her arm, in her ear or taking a forehead temperature. While rectal temperature taking is the most accurate method of taking a non-oral temperature, it is generally not recommended for at-home practice as it can make your child unnecessarily uncomfortable.
The Basics of Coughing
Listening to your child cough through the night can be difficult to handle; however, it is important to remember that coughing is not always a bad thing. Coughing is a healthy reaction to a blocked airway. While you wouldn’t want your child to cough himself to sleep every night, a few nights of coughing are not going to hurt him and are, in fact, a sign that his body is ready to fight off illness.
Not all coughs are created equal. By considering what type of cough your child is exhibiting, you can likely narrow down the nature of his illness. If your child’s cough sounds like a bark, it is the result of swelling in the upper airway. This is likely due to a mild cold or flu. If the cough sounds more wheezy in nature, it is most probably the result of a swelling of the lower airway and could be the result of an illness that has moved further into your youngster’s lungs, or the result of a pre-existing problem, such as asthma. If the cough takes on a whooping sound, like that of a crane, your child may suffer from whopping cough, a potentially serious disease, and you should seek immediate medical attention.
Coughs and Fever Combined
When cough and fever appear together, it can be a sign of pneumonia. If you notice these two symptoms at the same time, monitor your child’s fever closely. If it gets to 102 degrees F or higher, contact your child’s doctor to ensure your kid gets the treatment he needs to prevent the ailment from worsening.
Calling In Reinforcements
Many moms worry about calling the doctor too frequently. While it’s true that not every sniffle or sneeze requires a doctor’s visit, it is also true that, unchecked, illnesses can get worse. Don’t allow your fear of seeming like an overprotective mother stop you from calling your child’s doctor if you feel like something is really wrong. If your mother’s intuition tells you that your child is seriously sick, contact his doctor.