Being a parent, whether it is your first child or third is challenging for most people. The constant worrying about weather your child is ill, hungry, if your parenting correctly and many other worries control our lives. Recently I went through a scare when my 29 month old (2yr 5month) woke up from a nap, let out two terrifying screams then started convulsing. I have read in numerous articles that for the first year-year and half of daycare a child will be constantly ill. However, none of those articles specified what symptoms to look for if you suspect your child is ill. I have been through ups and downs and wanted to share what I have learned over the past two years.
1. Your child will not display the same symptoms as their last illness
Every time a child becomes ill they may act different. For example, when my son was one year old he had an ear infection and was overly clingy. He presented with a fever, cough and pulled on his ear. These symptoms were not the same this time around. He is two years old, had a cough, did not present with fever, nor did he tug at his ear. Basically his behavior was that of a rambunctious toddler on the go.
2. Never assume that a child is being picky
My two year old was a great child when it came to variety of foods he would eat. However, three days before his seizure he refused to eat almost anything, including pasta (his favorite). I made the assumption that he was growing tired of his regular meals and wanted a change or he was too busy to eat. That should have been my first clue that something was wrong.
3. Any sign of a fever should be closely monitored.
I know that doctors say not to medicate until a fever is 101.5 but a fever can spike from 99.3 to 102.7 under the right conditions. If your little one is showing any sign of a fever then it should be monitored every 30 mins to ensure you detect the fever before things get out of hand.
4. Always follow your instinct
I was going to schedule a doctor appointment of my child the morning he had a febrile seizure but choose not to. Everything in my body told me his cough was more than it should and he normally gets over a cold within two-three days. Parents are for the most part spot on when their little ones are ill and know when to take a child to see a doctor. Do not talk your self out of the appointment if you feel it is the right thing to do. Better safe than sorry.
Everything I have stated is common sense but can be overlooked if a parent feels like they are over reacting or being over protective. I would have taken my child to the doctor if everyone was not telling me that his cold was caused by daycare and he would be fine. They reassured me I was just overreacting and should allow his cold to run its course. I do not blame anyone for my son's seizure but I do know that it is easy for a first time parent to accept the information of more experienced parent. Just remember that nobody knows your child like you and you should follow your gut.
Visit these links for more information about fever treatment in toddlers