Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Illness Bible

Even after being in childcare for 6 years and being a mother for another 2 and a half years I am far from being an expert when it comes to child illnesses. The moment one of my babies break out in a rash or comes down with a fever I suddenly turn into a detective trying to work out what is going on in my little person's body. Is it "just a rash", is it serious, do I need to take them to the hospital? I am a regular caller of 13HEALTH.

So to help ease my nerves and try to make these big decisions I have found a few resources that I include in my little "Illness Bible". Straight after the first signs of a rash, out comes my little binder.

The first few pages include are extracted from the Huggies "Baby health and illness eBook" which can be downloaded, viewed and printed from here. The pages I included were: 

  • Common illnesses: description, symptoms, recommended treatments.
  • Pain relief and your little one.
  • Five frequently asked questions when your bub is sick.
  • Coughs and fevers: when to see the doctor.
  • Four food fixers. 

They are pages 4 through to 13. I didn't find it necessary to print the entire book but if you feel the need, by all means included it in your binder. 

Next- is a tool I picked up from my time in daycare. It was every educators go-to when there was a sick child in our care to work out whether a child needed care from a health professional, what we could do to help or if they needed to be excluded from care and control the spread. 

It is the "Staying Healthy in Child Care- Preventing infectious diseases in child care" which can be downloaded, viewed and printed from here. I only printed the fact sheets in part 5 because lets face it 1- the handbook is 197 pages long. Who has that kind of ink and paper or even a binder big enough to accommodate (read: waste) that kind of printing. And 2- because in the household you don't really need to follow the procedures that run a childcare center or be told how to wash your hands and clean then bench etc, it's just common sense. 

However there is some useful information in other parts of the handbook which you might find interesting to have a read such as the National Immunisation Program Schedule on page 21 which even covers up to age 65! And managing symptoms after immunisations on page 34.

What I love about the fact sheets is they cover everything for 
respiratory complaints including Asthma, ear infections, Bronchitis even down to the runny nose. 
Gastrointestinal complains including Diarrhoea, vomiting, Rotavirus and worms! 
Skin complaints including Chicken pox, cold sores, Head lice, Rubella.
And even just general notes on rashes and finally a section for 
other complaints such as conjunctivitis, Glandular fever and Meningococcal and many, many more.

These fact sheets help me in so many ways such as diagnosing if the symptoms could potentially be a particular illness and in which case whether I need to take the child to see a health professional, how to treat the symptoms/illness and my responsibilities as a parent and control the spread of infection and also if my child has been in contact with another child who may have been ill, what the infectious period is.

The binder really is just a guide and if I am ever in doubt I call 13HEALTH and make a GP appointment, but sometimes it is nice to know more about the bugs that are "going around at the moment" and what symptoms to keep an eye out for.

I hope you find these few resources as useful for you as they are to me and help ease your mind.

*Keep an eye out for the upcoming post about what I include in my first aid kit Stocking your kid friendly first aid kit ;-)

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