How do I look after a sick child? (18 to 30 months) 

Health visitor Penny Lazelle discusses some of the things you can do to look after a sick child. .

Find out more about looking after a sick child.

Transcript of How do I look after a sick child? (18 to 30 months)

How do I look after a sick child?   Penny: “If your child is unwell, it's really important to keep a close eye on them. So, listen to them, if they can talk to you, or just watch your baby. Most childhood illnesses are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and therefore antibiotics won't work.   When children are poorly, they want to be with their mums and dads, so don't make them stay in bed. Bring them downstairs, pop them on the sofa, so they are in the area where you are. Try to avoid having the room too warm, especially if your child's got a temperature. Have the room about 18 degrees and try not to have any drafts.   If your child has a temperature or is feeling very hot, it's OK to give them paracetamol or ibuprofen to help bring the temperature down. Have a look on the side of the bottle and this will tell you the right dosage. When children are poorly, they often lose their appetites, so really don't want any food at all. So don't push them with the food. Encourage your child to drink lots of fluids regularly.   Children can get dehydrated very quickly. If your child isn't keeping their fluids down, they will get dehydrated quite quickly, so you will need to seek medical advice. As your child gets better, their appetite will return, but don't force food upon them. Try and tempt them with foods that they like and will enjoy.   As your child gets better, they often get short bursts of energy where they want to play again, but then they will want to have another little doze on the sofa. So just take their lead and play with them when they want to be played with. It can be exhausting looking after a sick child, so you need to look after yourself as well.   If you've got a friend or a neighbour who can help you, then ask them to come in. Otherwise, just make sure you eat regularly and you get as much rest as you can. Childhood illnesses are really common in young children, so don't worry. Most of the time all they need is just comfort and rest. But if you are worried, trust your instincts and seek medical assistance.”    


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