sick toddler--and i'm overwhelmed and worried - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-08-2008, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i've been up with my sick 17 month old for 3 days now and i'm seeing any improvement. moderate fever is our primary symptom, but now he's very snorty and snore-y when he does manage to sleep. otherwise i don't notice any congestion. he hasn't eaten much in a week, but is nursing a lot. i don't know, i'm so tired and now i'm getting worried that he has some crazy infection like Hib or pnemococcal.

for those of you who don't vaccinate, how do you decide when to seek outside help for illness and symptoms for which you don't have a clear sense of the severity, or which direction it is going in? in other words, if you have a sick child that you know has more than a simple cold or mild bug, how do you triage their symptoms? thanks mamas!
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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Personally, I think it sounds like a nasty cold. My son has had several of them. I usually put a pillow under one side of his crib to help elevate one side so he's able to breath a little better. If you cosleep you might try having him sleep elevated on a pillow. I gave him lots of steamy showers to help unclog his congestion and warm teas. If he is having a low fever, I would just keep an eye on it. It really doesn't sound like hib or pneomencoccal. I think your babe would have a more elevated temperature.

Finally, if you are really worried about him then I would call your doctor.

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i just haven't ever seen him like this---this lethargic and clingy and out of it. we're doing the pillow thing but it doesn't seem to help much. it's weird because like i said otherwise i can't detect any congestion--no runny nose, cough, stuffyness, etc. we're on vacation too, and we don't have a PCP right now so i'm left with my intuituition, which is kind of shot.

i'm curious how other non-vaxing people handle illness in babies when you can't ask them, does their neck hurt for example. does a fear linger in the back of your mind, what if this IS one of the rare cases of some devastating infection??? all the signs and symptoms are for the most part typical of your garden variety upper respiratory infections.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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If it was Hib, there would be an elevated fever and if you had him put his chin to his chest it would hurt. The neck area is painful and stiff with meningitis.

As for pneomenccocal (sp?) I believe that the majority of the cases are otitis media, which is an ear infection. You would see elevated temperature and painful ears...he would be crying a lot and tugging at his ears. If he's not, and he had it, most likely the ear infection would resolve on it's own. If it was presenting as meningitis then the above would apply as well.

I think that if you choose to not vax then you kind of have to be ready to be flexible...I bring my son in whenever I was concerned. I have brought him in for nasty coughs that were nothing, congestion that ended up being nothing but bad colds.

If you have any doubts, then take him in to the emergency room. It's really useless to worry.

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Old 12-08-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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Do you have access to a Dr. that isnt a financial strain? If so I would take him in. If not I would wait and see a bit longer. Honestly I am more worried about a moderate fever that lasts more than 3-5 days than I am about a super high fever that only lasts 1.

As far as the non-vax issue I dont really see how that plays into the decision. Just because a kid got a vax doesnt mean it's impossible for him to pick up an illness. So as an delayed vax parent I triage about the same as I would had I vaxed.

Also, taking him to to the Dr office is definitely preferable to waiting until it's ER worthy - from a financial angle as well as a "stress on the child" angle.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:08 PM
 
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The vax issue doesn't really come up for me; I'm not any more or less afraid than I would be if we did vaccinate, y'know?

The lethargy and clinginess is typical of Naked Baby's fevers, but like previous poster, I'm more concerned with a moderate fever that lasts for days than a high fever for one day.

NB is actually just past the mid-point (I hope) of his first real multi-day fever/cold/illness. If his fever had continued to today ( it started Friday night), we would have taken him in. As it is, we're just keeping an eye on him; this looks just like some really bad colds I've had (but with a fever, which is, barring catastrophically high temps, a totally healthy immune response).
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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I'd like to add that Sears' mantra is "treat the child, not the fever" so a "moderate fever" (which is what? around 101?) where one of my DD's is running around and acting fine doesn't get treated with a fever-reducer. But one that causes total exhaustion, clinginess, and consistent whining or complaining gets the fever reducing medication. And I've had times where a fever of 103 barely shows up in my girls' behavior and times where a fever of 100.3 knocks them out.

If you have given your child a fever-reducer (i.e. Tylenol or Motrin) what is the response? Does it seem he improves? If not, that would be a signal to me to check with a doctor - urgent care if we're traveling (avoid the ER if at all possible) and cannot reach our ped.

Also, you might want to check out Dr. Sears' website, which I find really comforting when I have some medical questions in the middle of the night and don't want to call my ped unnecessarily. I think it's www.askdrsears.com.

Best to all of you, momma!
Sharon

and :-loving mom to 2 wonderful girls - (7/2/04) and (8/7/06) - who are both , :, , and married to my best friend in life :
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you all for your replies!

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Originally Posted by trebleme View Post
If you have given your child a fever-reducer (i.e. Tylenol or Motrin) what is the response? Does it seem he improves? If not, that would be a signal to me to check with a doctor - urgent care if we're traveling (avoid the ER if at all possible) and cannot reach our ped.
yes i had been giving motrin to help him feel more comfortable, which it seemed to do somewhat, but i felt like it could have been prolonging his fever/recovery. i don't know. he's looking a bit better today and not as feverish, but it had been three full days and so i was getting very concerned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodygumdrops View Post
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As for pneomenccocal (sp?) I believe that the majority of the cases are otitis media, which is an ear infection. You would see elevated temperature and painful ears...he would be crying a lot and tugging at his ears.
interesting, thank you! i did not know that most pneumococcal infections present as ear infections. thing is, he has been tugging at his ears, which i have attributed to teething. (i check his ears periodically at home and they're always fine). interesting to note, my neighbor is a PCP and he said that current practice is to let most ear infections ride out their course w/o abx. (of course lots of us already do this but it was curious to hear it coming from the medical world).

when we made the decision not to vax we made a fully informed decision, preceeded by months of research and investigation.....but after the decision (and 17 months of sleep deprivation) all the disease/infection info, signs and symptoms, etc., kind of slid out of my brain...so with this bug he's had i've just been a bit neurotic i suppose!
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:52 PM
 
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This is what I would do: Put him on some vit c and echinasea (sp?) liquid drops if you can find them. Or find some hylands cold tablets. Then, slightly freeze some wet socks and put those on this feet and then cover them with wool or heavier socks. That will kick the fever out of him. Give him a lukewarm bath or sit in a very steamy bathroom from a shower with him. That will give some relief to the lungs. Even though he's not congested, you did say he was having difficulty at night breathing. Put some vapor rub on his throat and chest...not the most natural things but it opens up the airways at night. And just ride it out. I don't vax but this is just typical childhood illness stuff. It could be some crazy case of something but likely, it's just a cold....it's totally that season. Get him some gatorade and let him pick his fave kind because it will raise his electrolites and give him the carbs he needs since he's not eating. You could also make some smoothies for him with lots of fruit and add some vitamins that way. Something fun that he will take vs. food that is just tiring in itself. I had terrible colds as a child all the time...I was hospitalized 8 times before my mom figured out all the natural things to do so that we wouldn't have to go through all that! It works...it's time consuming but children are children and it's totally worth it! Hope he gets to feeling better!
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trebleme View Post
I'd like to add that Sears' mantra is "treat the child, not the fever" so a "moderate fever" (which is what? around 101?) where one of my DD's is running around and acting fine doesn't get treated with a fever-reducer. But one that causes total exhaustion, clinginess, and consistent whining or complaining gets the fever reducing medication. And I've had times where a fever of 103 barely shows up in my girls' behavior and times where a fever of 100.3 knocks them out.

If you have given your child a fever-reducer (i.e. Tylenol or Motrin) what is the response? Does it seem he improves? If not, that would be a signal to me to check with a doctor - urgent care if we're traveling (avoid the ER if at all possible) and cannot reach our ped.

Also, you might want to check out Dr. Sears' website, which I find really comforting when I have some medical questions in the middle of the night and don't want to call my ped unnecessarily. I think it's www.askdrsears.com.

Best to all of you, momma!
Sharon
: Dr. Sears' article on fevers really helped chill me out when our DD had a fever and was lethargic...
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/8/t082100.asp
If the link doesn't work, just google fever + dr. sears

I can definitely understand that kind of worry. My suggestion is to always follow your instincts. And if calling a doctor makes you feel better, then call one. It's peace of mind. Hope your DS is feeling better!!

dd 10.06joy.gif
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:23 PM
 
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Fever reducers can definitely prolong an illness -- the fever is the body's way of combating the bug, so no fever can = longer to get rid of it.

I sill gave my kid Motrin twice this weekend, though, just so we could get some sleep!
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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From a peds nurse perspective, anytime a kiddo has a fever for more than 3 days is time to pay the Dr. a visit....
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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Could it be roseola? 3 days of fever, which finally breaks, at which point a rash appears.

If he's still feverish tomorrow, day 4, I would definitely take him in.

We don't vax and I understand your fears totally. It's hard to get past the brainwashing.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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Non-vaxer here. w/ DD1 it was hard, I was constantly worried everytime she seemed sick. She did have a fever and puking for a day or so a while back, we took her to a late night clinic, the dr on call said he could not treat her since we didn't vax and told us to go to the ER. Ever since then my threshold for DR visit is much higher. I can't explain it, but we have gone through some bugs and colds since then and it hasn't occured to me to take her in. I don't really know what would qualify these days as dr worthy, I guess I will know when I see it. Honestly knowing most big/bad/uglies kill due to dehydration eases my mind. As long as I know she is hydrated I'm not that worried.

Here was my thread when DD1 was sick. I was freaked out too, but she ended up being fine w/o medical intervention.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=893679

Once your heart calms down the best thing to do is trust your gut.

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Old 12-10-2008, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just a quick update because we're headed back home today--he's better today, no fever, and no rash, on day 5! thank you for all your helpful replies!
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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Non-vaxer here. w/ DD1 it was hard, I was constantly worried everytime she seemed sick. She did have a fever and puking for a day or so a while back, we took her to a late night clinic, the dr on call said he could not treat her since we didn't vax and told us to go to the ER.
That's just outrageous! I cannot imagine what possible excuse a Dr. would have for not treating a sick child! Even if he disagrees with you and let's say doesn't want to do well baby visits, but that's just ridiculous that he doesn't want to treat a child that's sick.

Several months back, I took my ds to a pediatrician in Miami (we were on vacation) because he had terrible diaper rash, and the nurse insisted that they needed his immunization record. We delay vax and I know every single vax he's got, but that wasn't good enough, because obviously I'm just a dumb parent and can't be relied on to know my son's medical history. And what the heck do the vacc's have to do with diaper rash???? Can you imagine if they required the same for adults?
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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You could also try some mullein garlic drops as long as you don't see discharge from the ear. My son had an ear infection last month, and these kicked it out without antibiotics. He also had a really horrible ear infection about two months ago, and I didn't bring him in until about four days into a very high fever. At that point, we decided to treat him, and I was sorry I'd not brought him in sooner - or tried garlic drops more quickly. Good luck, it is scary when the fever lasts that long.

Julie, mom to Ansel (Sept '07) and Amalia (Sept '10)
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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That's just outrageous! I cannot imagine what possible excuse a Dr. would have for not treating a sick child! Even if he disagrees with you and let's say doesn't want to do well baby visits, but that's just ridiculous that he doesn't want to treat a child that's sick.

Several months back, I took my ds to a pediatrician in Miami (we were on vacation) because he had terrible diaper rash, and the nurse insisted that they needed his immunization record. We delay vax and I know every single vax he's got, but that wasn't good enough, because obviously I'm just a dumb parent and can't be relied on to know my son's medical history. And what the heck do the vacc's have to do with diaper rash???? Can you imagine if they required the same for adults?


for diaper rash? That's just funny.

OP - Glad to hear he is feeling better!!

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Old 12-11-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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Some bugs are worse than others. This sounds alot like a croup my son had when he was 18mo. One thing I did do was roll him over when the snoring was really bad. Held him in a steamy environment. Tylenol when he was really uncomfortable and lots of nursing. Also a friend suggested and it seemed to work - rub chest rub on their feet and put socks on them. MY ds was so out of it I remember rubbing goo on his feet when he was asleep.

Try to drink lots of water yourself, maybe boost your own garlic and ginger (fresh) in your diet till dc is through this. Good luck... for us the fever was around almost a week I think... only really spiking for a day.

Also I think I administered Hyland cold-c tabs

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