I’d recently taken the kids in to the paed’s for a check-up and was waiting for our turn when a young, well-dressed Mother rushed in with a 1.5 to 2 years old toddler (a boy) in her arms.
A 5 year old girl trailed behind her mother carrying a rather large and heavy diaper bag. She had an LV bag on her arm and spoke with an annoyingly fake American accent.
“Please help me, nurse, he has a very high fever!”
The nurses came over to help her as everyone could see that the little boy was very sick. His eyes were closed tight and he was groaning unconsciously in his mother’s arms.
They took the toddler’s temperature and asked the mother the following questions:
- When did the fever begin?
- How high was the fever?
- What fever medications did he take?
The mother was quite upset by the questions – she wanted them to care for the boy instead of asking her endless questions.
However, these questions are important because the paediatrician and the nurses do not want to risk an overdose of paracetamol (or acetaminophen under the brand Tylenol in the US) or ibuprofen.
Normal body temperature is 37 degrees C. 38 deg C is a “fever”. 39 deg C is a “high fever”.
If your baby is 0 – 3 months old and has a fever, bring your baby to see a doctor as soon as possible. Don’t take risks.
One of my cousins died of a fever when she was a baby. She just kept crying and crying. My aunt panicked and kept calling my grandmother who was miles away but didn’t think to bring her to a doctor. My cousin lost her twin sister.
- Paracetamol is sold under the brands Panadol and Uphamol in Malaysia.
- Ibuprofen is sold under the brand Nurofen. Ibuprofen is a rather “strong” medicine and is administered only when necessary. Paediatricians tend to prescribe paracetamol first.
Here is a useful dosage chart for:
a) paracetamol/acetaminophen and
For baby / toddler’s weight in KG, just divide (/) the weight in LB by 2.2. For your baby’s weight in LB, just multiply (x) by 2.2.
For example: My baby weighs 9 kg. Her weight in pounds would be 9 x 2.2 = 19.8 lb
Useful references from Babycenter:
- Baby fever – signs, symptoms and what you should do
- Can a high fever cause brain damage?
- A high fever could mean Roseola
The story continues…
When the mother calmed down and answered the questions, the rest of us in the waiting room heard these:
a) She didn’t want to give the little boy any medicine because she thought she could bring the fever down herself. The toddler’s fever started at 38 deg C.
b) She refused to tell the nurses if she sponged him or not. She just kept on repeating: “I gave him Tylenol, you know. Tylenol is fever medicine, right? Don’t you know Tylenol?”
I thought she was silly because the nurses were trying to be helpful but she was talking to them as if they were the stupid ones. Excuse me, the nurses are trying to help you!
c) The toddler had a fever of 38 – 38.5 deg C for the past 2 days. When the senior nurse took the temperature, the toddler’s fever was already 39 deg C. She told the mother she should have brought the little boy in on the second day.
The mother said, “I was very busy, you know. And I have this little girl’s school activities and a million other things…”
“Ma’am, your son has a high fever. If his fever doesn’t come down, you must try to bring him in as soon as you can. With H1N1, hand-foot-mouth-disease and other illnesses, we need to be extra careful now.”
If the paediatrician didn’t step out, I think this mother would have attacked the nurse!
Luckily, the doctor calmed her down and told her the same thing the nurses did -_-
Because she’d given the little boy Tylenol just an hour ago, they couldn’t give him another dose. She was asked to wait.
I pitied the little boy because he was clearly having a high fever. He looked like an active boy (like mine) and seeing him crying, eyes closed and sleeping listlessly meant that he was really sick.
The little girl was shocked by all the drama and also because her mother kept scolding her. Poor thing.
She’s only 5 and she was trying to carry a heavy diaper bag – looks very much like an Allerhand to me.
When the mother finally sat down and looked around her, she suddenly realized that at least 6 – 8 parents and 5 children had witnessed the drama. And I think she realized what a jerk she looked like then.
Then, the paediatrician and a nurse came out and ushered her and the kids to a small room nearby. And we all heard the poor little boy scream and scream.
A few parents and I brought our kids out of the waiting room.
Why am I telling you this story?
Please take a fever seriously no matter how old your baby / child is.
Don’t play doctor. If you do, you’re playing with your child’s health and life.
I may joke about a lot of things but I am very, very serious when it comes to health and safety issues.
At the end of the day, you really have to ask yourself:
“Which is more important? Your friends? Your Facebook fans? Your online business? Or your babies?”
Will you be able to take care of your online business while you’re busy caring for your sick child? No.
A lot of Moms feel as if they are “missing out on life” when they have a baby. Honestly, ladies, Facebook, LV bags, eBay and sales will still be there no matter if your baby is 1 month old or 20 years old.
I saw my first LV bag when I was like, 6 years old? I am now pushing 40 and guess what? LV bags are still around! Don’t be a sucker. And no, I do not own an LV bag. Do I want to? Maybe yes. Maybe no.
But your baby? He / she will grow up and before you know it, it’s time to leave home. You don’t wanna say, “I wish I didn’t spend so much time on Facebook etc.”
I love the way the Chinese call their babies “bǎo bèi” 宝贝 which translates into “precious”, “treasure” and “darling”. Let’s put the precious darling treasures first, ok? Take care and God bless.