Kwezi has been sick. Well, from what I gather, that is a song most mothers to toddlers are singing this week. It is that kind of season where tonsillitis, flu and cough are attacking children from all corners.
The most problematic thing about children is that unlike adults who can tell that a cold is on its way, theirs just springs on you from nowhere. A child could be playing, running around, laughing and the next minute he or she could be in hospital on a drip.
Well, for Kwezi, it started out as a mild cough and by evening, she was coughing like it had been around for days. I don’t know about other people but a dry cough, even for an adult, sounds painful. You almost feel like there is this rough scratching in the chest. It explains why Kwezi coughs and instead of grabbing her chest, she covers her ears with her small hands, something I think indicates that there was a headache in the mix.
While I am a strong advocate of trying home remedies before you try to pump anybody with modern medicine which I believe is toxic, I have learnt the hard way that you must have three things in your cabinet at all times. There is the suppository medication, applied through the rectum, which is the fastest way to calm down a feisty fever and reduce pain. I started with this because I learnt from a paediatrician that a high fever, just like diarrhoea and vomiting, can end a child’s life in a matter of hours.
Talking of diarrhoea and vomiting in children, you must have Oral Rehydration Solutions. The beauty about this is that you can do this at home. All you need are six teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 level teaspoon of salt dissolved in one litre of clean water. This will help your child to avoid being a victim of dehydration which can be fatal in a very short time.
You must also have a thermometer. I sometimes use the traditional hand to forehead and stomach to gauge the temperature but it’s easier when you have a thermometer because it indicates exact figures of how high the child’s fever is.
I have learnt another trick that I need to share. If your child’s temperature is very high, dip a towel in cold water, squeeze the water out of it and use it to pat the child’s forehead. It helps calm the temperature down and could afford you a few hours, especially at night, before you take the child to hospital the next morning.
Like I always say, I learn as I go. There is no formula when it comes to children, and I am always ready to share what I learn and also pick from other parents any time.