One of the most worriesome things about being a mom is watching my children suffer from illnesses, especially the flu. Lately I’ve been watching Facebook status updates from parents worried about their children fighting fevers, chills and stomach bugs. It’s sad to watch and leaves me feeling the need to make sure my kids are as healthy as possible. While we do start every winter off with flu shots for the kids, it’s not a guarantee they won’t get sick. That’s why I like to be prepared with a cold & flu kit just for my kids.
With the help of Children’s Advil I’ve come up with 5 essentials that you should have on hand in case your children catch the flu.
A fever is one of the first signs your child is sick. Left untreated, fevers lead to severe dehydration and febrile seizures. One tool that I think every parent should have on hand is a digital thermometer, especially one that takes fast readings for especially squirmy babies and toddlers. The thermometer can help you monitor your child’s temperature and tell you when it’s time to seek help from a doctor.
When kids are sick they are especially cranky and while I prefer to go straight for water to keep my kids hydrated, sometimes you have to think outside the box. Freezing your own popsicles with a flavored drink with additional nutrients or even water with a squeeze of lemon juice is an easy way for kids to get liquid in their little bodies without putting up a fight.
Nothing feels quite as bad as a fever and one thing kids want is comfort whether that be wrapped in mom’s arms or snuggling with their favorite stuffed animal. My young daughters each have their own needs when they’re sick and keeping a favorite toy handy or even a special “sick bear” is a great way to make sick kids feel just a bit better.
Our medicine cabinet is divided into 3 sections: first aid, adult medicine and children’s medicines. It’s so very important that children have medicine on hand to treat fevers that is specifically labeled for children. Their bodies are smaller with different needs and proper dosing is essential. Our first medicine of choice for treating fevers is Children’s Advil which is available in many different flavors and my favorite Dye Free. We’ve all had moments where finicky kids spit up or spill medicine which is incredibly difficult to get out of clothes.
5. KIT BAG
Last but not least, you need a place to keep your flu-fighting essentials. It could be a labeled bag on a high shelf, a locked cabinet, whatever fits your lifestyle best, keep your flu basics in one place so you can easily access them when the flu hits home.
Fever Relief Tips from Children’s Advil
To help better prepare for fevers during cold and flu season, Dr. Alanna Levine and the makers of Children’s Advil® recommend the following tips to parents:
- Stay Cool: Remember that most fevers are in fact indicators that the body is fighting an underlying illness.
- Be Prepared: Start the season by talking to a pediatrician about proper fever management. Also, check the medicine cabinet to ensure that all medications have not expired or been recalled.
- Watch for Serious Signs: Generally, it’s time to call a pediatrician.
- if your child is less than three months old and has a fever of 100 degrees or higher;
- if the fever is over 103 degrees, no matter what the child’s age;
- if the fever lasts more than three days;
- if your child has a fever and looks and acts very sick;
- if you are concerned regarding your child’s health.
- Long Lasting Relief: When choosing a fever medication, be sure to consider how long the medication will last. Children’s Advil®®, which contains ibuprofen, provides up to 8-hours of relief with one dose.
Do Parents Really Know Best?
Unintended Fever Mistakes
- More than half of parents (52 percent) have sent their kids back to school or daycare less than 24 hours after their fever passed.
- More than half of parents (52 percent) report waking their sick child up in the middle of the night just to give them fever medicine.
- One in five parents (17 percent) admitted to bringing their child to the emergency room solely for a fever without first calling their pediatrician.
Common Medication Missteps
- Nearly a quarter of parents (23 percent) admit to giving their child an adult over-the-counter medication at a lower dose to treat their fevers.
- More than one third of parents (36 percent) base their dose on age rather than weight, which is the preferred method by doctors.
Moms vs. Dads: Differences in Fever Treatment
- While less than one third (32 percent) of all parents feel confident in treating a child’s fever, more dads (41 percent) report feeling confident than moms (25 percent) when kids develop fevers.
- A quarter of dads (25 percent) report giving their kids adult medication, whereas one fifth of moms (21 percent) admit to giving their children adult over-the-counter fever medication to treat a fever.
- More dads (57 percent) have sent their kids to school or day care less than 24 hours of a fever breaking compared to moms (48 percent).
- More moms (65 percent) determine the proper dose of medication for their child – based primarily on weight, not age – as opposed to dads (50 percent).
What Pediatricians Have to Say
Pediatricians Confirm Parents Misperceptions
- The overwhelming majority of pediatricians (94 percent) feel that their parent population needs more education on fever management. They consider parents to be either somewhat or not very knowledgeable.
- Almost half of pediatricians (44 percent) claim that they receive the most fever-related calls in January.
- One third of pediatricians estimate that up to half of their patient’s parents (26-50 percent) have taken their child to the emergency room due to a fever before calling them.
- Nearly three-quarters of pediatricians (72 percent) state that they often hear that parents send their children back to school or daycare less than 24 hours following their fever.
It’s All in the Medication
- Almost half of pediatricians (46 percent) report that the greatest misunderstanding parents convey about fever is that all fever medication contains the same ingredients.
- The top three most fever-related questions that pediatricians receive from parents are related to medications:
- 51 percent of parents have questions regarding how much medicine they should give their child to reduce a fever.
- 46 percent of parents ask at which temperature they should give their child fever medication.
- 39 percent of parents ask what over-the-counter medicine is best for their child’s fever.
- One in three pediatricians (34 percent) report hearing about parents giving their children an adult over-the-counter fever medication at a lower dose, rather than giving them a children’s medication.
- Half of pediatricians (50 percent) state that they often hear about parents continuing to administer medication to their children until their temperature returns to what they feel is normal.
About the Surveys
Disclosure: “Thank you to Children’s Advil® for providing free product samples, the survey information, and gift pack. Opinions expressed are my own, as always, please consult a doctor before administering medication. I am not a medical professional and none of the information or opinions provided should be taken as professional medical advice.