Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Get Me to the Six Week Mark, Please.

When Casey, my middle child, was five weeks old, he came down with a fever.  This may sound like no big deal, but it ended up being a HUGE deal.  A call to our pediatrician resulted in an ER visit, and a subsequent hospital stay.  I  learned that it is standard procedure that anytime an infant younger than six weeks has a fever, it's an automatic hospital stay, which involves a spinal tap and IV antibiotics. Basically, they have to make sure it's not something really bad (like meningitis) until they know it's not.

It wasn't.  After three days, we left with a diagnosis of (drumroll)..... rhinovirus.  Aka, the common cold.  The diagnosis was an anti-climactic end to three very exhausting, traumatic days.

This time around, I want to avoid that at all costs.  Colin is four weeks today, meaning I have two more weeks to avoid illness resulting in a hospital stay.  This may seem straightforward.  Keep him away from crowds, sick people, etc., and be religious about washing hands.  But with a three year old and a five year old in the house, all bets are off.  

The odds aren't in my favor.  'Tis the season for coughs and colds. They are everywhere.  And given that, what are the chances that my two kids won't bring something home?  And if and when they do, how effective to you think the "wash your hands" mantra will be?  Ha!  They'll be sneezing and coughing and wiping their snot all around the house.  And don't even get me started on the stomach flu. I don't even want to consider that as a possibility, so I won't.  

Needless to say, I have been a bit OCD with monitoring illness in my house.  I have used the thermometer with both kids more often than I care to admit.  I analyze every sneeze, every cough, and hand sanitizer graces every room.  So far so good.

But I can't keep my baby in a bubble.  So all I ask for is two weeks more of health.  Just two weeks. Is that too much to ask ?

Wish me luck.  
And in return, I will wish you all illness-free holidays!  But in case you aren't so lucky, here are some helpful tips from OTC Safety regarding over the counter medicines for your little ones:

- Remember that you should never give cough/cold medicine to children under 4.  
- If you give infant acetaminophen, be sure to check the concentration - the makers of infant acetaminophen have changed the medicine from a highly concentrated dose to a less concentrated dose (80mg/0.8 mL to 160mg/mL).  During this transition, old medicines could still be on store shelves, so be sure to read the label carefully.
- You can alternate between acetaminophen and ibuprofen every 3-4 hours.
- Only use the measuring device that comes with the medicine.
- Always store your medicine up and away (and make sure all of your visitors do the same!).

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post as part of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program.  All the opinions reflected here are my own.  

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