As a parent, you can feel helpless when your child is sick, especially an infant. You want nothing more than to make your little one feel better, and not knowing what is wrong or what you can do leads to unease.
Since babies do not have the anti-bodies to all the common diseases and viruses that we come into contact with everyday, they are particularly vulnerable to illness. When babies are born, they receive an initial boost of protection from the mother’s immune system, but after approximately 6 months, this benefit wears off. While breastfeeding provides an added boost to a baby’s immune system, it is not enough to prevent all illness.
This is the first rule to caring for a sick person, especially a baby. When you have a baby who’s screaming uncontrollably while you’re tying to place a thermometer, staying calm is easier said than done, but it’s important. Panicking can cloud your thinking. It can make you over react, or get you so worked up you miss either a symptom or overlook a simple treatment.
Know who to call
Sure, you call your pediatrician. But what happens if your child starts running a high fever at 6 am on Saturday? What about a baby who starts wheezing at 10pm on a weeknight? Find out about after hours and weekend care. Some pediatrician offices have one or two nights a week when they are open, or maybe a half day on Saturday. Others have a number that you can call to get answers to questions during off hours.