Uh-oh.. what was his temperature this morning again? How many milliliters of tylenol did I give him?
Do you find yourself asking these questions while your little one is running a fever?
It is common to forget these details when we try to commit our child’s fluctuating temperatures and medication history to memory. It is important to track your child’s fever as it progresses for multiple reasons, and the trick it seems, it to write it down so you won’t have to commit it to memory. It is nerve wracking enough to watch your child being fussy, irritable, coughing, and sometimes vomiting, without having to use extra brain space to remember these small, but important details.
Despite our best efforts to keep our child healthy, the reality is that children are going to get sick and have fevers at some point, some more frequently than others. To read about how to treat high fevers in children, click here to see my previous post. As your child’s fever progresses, their temperature is never static, it is always going up and down. Symptoms also come and go, and new symptoms may develop. I found that it is best progress to track your child’s fever by writing it down, and turn this into a habit. It may seem like a chore, but let me give you some good reasons why this practice is worthwhile.
Reasons To Track Your Child’s Fever and Illnesses:
- You know what your child’s temperature was at specific times and dates.
- You know how long your child has had the fever.
- You know when you have your child medication, if any, and how much you gave them. This is important if you are giving your child Tylenol and/or Motrin to help with the fever, as you don’t want to overdose the child (over dosing on Tylenol can cause liver damage in children).
- Tracking medication is especially helpful, if you are rotating Tylenol and Motrin throughout the day for your child.
- You can track exactly when you brought your child to see the doctor or into urgent care and what happened during that visit. Because you’ve been keeping track, you can provide your doctor very specific answers to the doctors questions.
- You know exactly what symptoms your child has exhibited.
- Some diseases won’t make itself apparent to what is causing the fever until the fever has broken, for example, roseola. In this case, you will have a record that your child has had this childhood disease, when he/she had it, how long he/she had it, and his/her experience of it.
- You don’t have to rely on doctor’s records. You may not bring your child in to see the doctor every time your child is sick. It may be useful to have a record of sicknesses that your child’s doctor didn’t see.
I track my child’s fevers and sicknesses in my iPhone app, Notes. You may choose physically write it down (I have done this too in the past). There are also apps on smartphones that can help you to track fevers, but I have experienced apps failing on me at the worst moments, so now I stick to Notes, or writing it down. The thing I like about using Notes, is that I can take a picture of any rashes or physical symptoms and attach it to my notes.
This is how I track Zac’s fevers in Notes:
Title: Zac Health Tracker [Insert date]
- Amount and Type of Medication administered:
- Side note:
- Picture of symptoms:
I repeat this list until Zac is back to full health.
In the side notes, you might even want to include what foods he/she’s eaten, whether he/she’s keeping hydrated, and abnormal behaviors, and what happened in doctor’s visits.
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