By God, how many visits have we made to the doc for him to look at us as if we were complete idiots and told us “Don’t worry, it’s viral”. Keep him warm, hydrated and give him Calpol.
Take your usual symptoms of a cold: temperature, sneezing, crying (that’s the equivalent of moaning for an adult)… If this is what your child is going through, it is more than likely just a viral infection. The doc won’t be able to do much for you, other than treat the symptoms.
Thankfully, in Ireland, we have this card that gives free GP for under 6 year olds, which saves you a ton of cash (more info here) and it’s no harm popping into your GP for a quick check when the child is unwell.
How long does a viral infection last in a child?
It really depends on the type of infection causing the fever but expect two or three days of joy before the kid starts feeling better. Note that it may take up to two weeks for the child to be back to his normal self.
Signs and symptoms of viruses
Recognise any of these?
- a blocked or runny nose
- red, watery eyes
- a sore throat
- rashes that turn white (blanch) for a second or so after you push on them with a finger (you could also press the side of a clear drinking glass over the rash and
- watch to see if it blanches)
- coughing or sneezing
- vomiting and/or diarrhoea
- wanting to sleep more (lethargy)
- not wanting to eat
- feeling generally unwell.
While most viruses are mild in children, infants under three months of age may become very ill quickly and need to be assessed by a doctor.
Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics. The best remedy is for your child is to get an adequate amount of rest so her or her immune system will be able to fight the virus.
Aspirin should not be given to children with fever symptoms or body aches as this could increase the risk of Reye’s syndrome in those who have certain viral infections.
Keep your child hydrated.
Use saline nasal drops to clear a stuffy nose in babies.
Humidifier in the room at night while the child is sleeping also helps.
When to see a doctor?
If your child is not improving after 48 hours, or is getting worse, take them to see your GP.
Again, I can’t repeat it enough, we are not doctors or qualified in any way to give medical advice. If you’re in any way concerned about the wellbeing of your child, seek medical advice immediately! We’re just a bunch of dads sharing our overall experience!