Your child has been sniffling, sneezing and coughing for the last few days. His fever hasn’t gone down and his sore throat seems to be worsening. You know this scenario, right?
Your mama bear instincts kick in and you begin preparing yourself for a trip to the emergency department (ED).
We get it, bringing a sick child to the ED can be stressful, especially this winter with hospitals nationwide reporting record-breaking admissions. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report there have been 30 flu-associated fatalities in children since January 13th of this year.)
To help ease parents’ minds and prepare them for the visit, physicians and staff from CHOC Children’s has put together the following pointers for us:
Be prepared to wait
Remember you’re entering the ED at the busiest time of year. Expect to see waiting areas and halls overflowing with patients.
With hospitals now at capacity, it’s best to leave siblings and other family members at home. Also, you don’t want to expose a healthy child to sick ones.
Try to keep your child from eating or drinking
Until your child is seen by the doctor, don’t serve him anything to eat or drink. A full stomach can delay procedures and the use of sedatives.
Try to stay calm. Children can pick up on parents’ fear and anxiety. Take deep breaths for you and your child’s sake.
Don’t automatically expect a prescription
It’s a common misconception that antibiotics are the cure-all. Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. With a cold caused by a virus or the flu, an antibiotic will be ineffective.
Hope this helps guys! And for tips on how to avoid the flu and the ED altogether, be sure to check out our post on the must-have foods to stock your kitchen with during cold and flu season.