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What Should I Do If My Child Is Sick?

When your little one gets ill, it can be really hard on a parent.

The last thing you want is to see your child uncomfortable, suffering or in pain. You immediately want to scoop them up in your arms, smother them with kisses, and take away all of their symptoms, so they can be well again. But the reality is, we all get sick from time to time. It's inevitable! So the best thing you can do, is to be prepared, and to know the steps to take should your little one fall ill.

If your child's symptoms are very serious, like fainting, having difficulty breathing, blue lips or an allergic reaction, you must go straight to your doctor or local emergency department. Let's get that out of the way straight away. The steps outlined below are for common childhood illnesses, not for emergencies.

Step One: Check Symptoms

What are your child's symptoms? A cough? A cold? A rash? Pulling at their ears? Do they have a fever? The first thing to do is to take their temperature. In children under five, a fever is considered to be a temperature higher than 37.5C. A temperature is a sure sign of some form of infection. Knowing all of these symptoms and having your child's temperature at hand will come in handy when speaking with a healthcare professional.

Step Two: Monitor & Hydrate

Keep a very close eye on your little one. If their symptoms worsen in a short space of time, if their fever gets higher, then it's time to move on to step three. Meanwhile, keep your child well hydrated with lots of water or juices. Give them something to bring down their fever, or to relieve any aches and pains, such as Calpol or an equivalent.

Step Three: Talk to a Doctor

If your child’s symptoms worsen, if you are concerned, or if you just want to put your mind at ease, then it’s time to talk to a doctor. Getting a last minute GP appointment can be tricky, and trying to get a poorly child dressed and out of the house can be equally difficult. There’s a great benefit from Laya Healthcare, called GPlive, that might be the perfect solution. With GPlive, through their CareOnCall app you can actually speak face to face with an Irish Registered GP via video chat. They can provide you with clinical advice and guidance on how to treat your poorly child, they can even give you prescriptions. GPlive has been designed to give you peace of mind on the go, seven days a week. Recent research shows that 69% of Irish working mums are interested in this type of service due to its speed and convenience - not having to leave their homes, spend time traveling to a GP surgery or spend time in a waiting room. Doesn’t that sound handy?

Click here for more information.

Please remember, the information contained on eumom.ie is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical professional. If in doubt, always consult your doctor.

This article has been sponsored by Laya Healthcare. Insurance provided by Elips Insurance Ltd trading as Laya Healthcare. Laya Healthcare Ltd, trading as Laya Healthcare, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


About the Author

Editor of eumom.ie, Mairéad Cahalan is a creator of content, a lover of music, red wine and coffee, and a part-time wedding singer! Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and LinkedIn.

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