The Black Death!


For the past week, my family & I have been struck down with what, I can only liken to the black death! My son was the first out of our family to contract this horrible flu-type bug which resulted in him being absent from nursery for a week! I then became ill and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and then… my husband who was diagnosed with a chest infection followed by our very little daughter, E falling ill.

The symptoms were, a fever & vomiting for the both children – 39 degrees plus. A cold which involved a constantly runny nose, a dry cough, muscular aches and pains, head aches & a sore throat. This bug has affected us for a whole week and even now we are still experiencing the odd symptoms such as muscular pains and the infuriating runny nose. Having two children under the age of five has made it more difficult to cope with the above symptoms as well as witness our little ones experience them too. It has been heart breaking to see our two little ones battling a fever and having to remove all their clothes so that the heat can escape and their temperatures can decrease but, see them shiver and moan from being too hot and cold at the same time. At the same time my husband and I just felt like death – oh how I hate not living close to the in-laws or my parents!

This experience has taught & reminded my husband & I a number of things when dealing with childhood illness –

  • When children have a fever, the temptation is to wrap them up because they are shivering.  In the past when my son J had a fever, paediatric consultants have advised us to remove all clothing – apart from the nappy – and cover the child with only a cotton sheet for comfort , if the child wants this.
  • Give the child either Calpol which can be given every 4-6 hours or Nurofen which can be given every 6-8 hours. If this does not reduce the temperature significantly, follow one by the other i.e. cycle them.
  • Give them water (older children) or milk to sip or continue to breast feed.
  • Use Olbas oil, Vicks vapour rub or Karvol drops to help with stuffy noses. A few drops of Olbas oil can be placed on a wipe which in turn can be placed upon the radiator – this will clear their nose. Place a dab of Vicks on their chest, back and soles of their feet to help them breathe more clearly and to reduce coughing fits.
  • Use an in ear thermometer to measure temperature such as the Braun Thermoscan.
  • If children are not taking fluids or cannot keep any fluid down, they are vomiting and/or have diarrhoea, begin to pant or are limp or drowsy seek medical attention immediately.

Luckily, this time we did not need to make the dash to the hospital – as we have with our son – so many times in the past. Hopefully, we are now all on the mend and we can now return to our routines which our children have been missed greatly and have led to some quite challenging behaviour particularly, from our two year old son! Having said that, on picking him up from nursery today I was greeted by the biggest smile, open arms and the word “Mummy” – all done whilst running towards me – I hadn’t truly realised until that point how much I had missed this greeting from my beloved son! Also, whilst putting my daughter to bed, how much I have missed her holding my hand and seeing her sleep so soundly without coughing or struggling to breathe.

Here’s to good health for the next few months!

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