How to relieve it while waiting for the doctor?
Otitis, cough, stomach pain … what are the right gestures and simple remedies to alleviate their pain and soothe their tears while waiting for the physician’s arrival? The answers of Nathalie Albert, pediatrician, and president of the French Association of Ambulatory Pediatrics (AFPA).
Otitis: the elongated position hurts
The problem: this ear infection is very common before the age of 3 years. It occurs alone or is accompanied by other classical early childhood diseases, such as nasopharyngitis or angina. Violent pain, blocked ears, difficulty hearing, buzzing … are the symptoms described by the older ones. In small children, one is alerted by prolonged or unusual crying, difficulty falling asleep, or fever.
Kind gestures: one avoids touching the ear or putting drops. On the other hand, one raises the head of the baby to relieve it: the lengthened position is painful in case of otitis. While waiting for the pediatrician to come, one can also give a dose of paracetamol every 6 hours (analgesic effect).
A cough: (almost) nothing to do!
The problem: on average, it is estimated that during the first 2 to 3 years of life, a child coughs about 100 days a year! Cough episodes can sometimes last 10 to 14 days. In children, this defense mechanism must be respected. Mucoregulators and other antitussives are now banned for 30 months.
Kind gestures: while waiting for the pediatrician, who will ensure that there are no severe infections to treat, one can relieve the throat with a little honey (eucalyptus or thyme), but only from one year. Please also maintain a humid atmosphere (60% minimum) in the room. Nasal lavage with physiological saline is essential to remove microbes from the upper airways. It should be practiced at least six times a day. In babies, one favors the position lying on the belly, head to the side, and one instills the serum in the most “high” nostril. From 2 years, the washing can be carried out in a semi-seated position with the head facing upwards.
Mal in the belly: the transit and the appetite are monitored
The problem: gastroenteritis, indigestion, constipation, stress … the causes of stomach ache in small are endless! While waiting for the diagnosis of the doctor, what to give him to eat? How to relieve it?
Kind gestures: if the pains revive the child or force him to stop his activities, one consults. Otherwise, attention is paid to the child’s transit, appetite, and general condition. Moreover, we listen! If he is hungry, he is allowed to eat. Of course, one chooses its choices towards foods easy to digest. Finally, children are sometimes relieved by the application of cold, warm or by gentle massages. They are, however, avoided as long as the exact origin of the stomach-ache is not known.
The problem: in children, the temperature can quickly rise and play the yo-yo. If, in most cases, this body alert mechanism is not dangerous (it helps to fight infections), it is necessary to follow carefully the temperature of the smaller ones. Before the age of 3 months or above 41 ° C, consult emergency.
The kind gestures: in the young children, the temperature is monitored every 2 hours, especially if it brushes with the 40 ° C. To relieve the child, often in a lethargic state, one discovers it and is offered the breast or a bottle of fresh water regularly (the fever dehydrates). As much as possible, one also avoids the crib!
Treatment of child fever is not routine, especially if the child is doing well. The analgesics (paracetamol) are given more for the comfort of the child (when it is prostrate, has pain everywhere, complains …) than for the treatment of the fever itself. For children over one year of age, the fever is usually monitored for 48 hours before consulting.
Regurgitations: invest in bibs!
Regurgitation of the baby is normal and usually ceases around the age of 8/9 months when the digestive system matures. There is concern that it does not grow or that it causes pain and crying. If the child is well, there is no need for treatment.
Kind gestures: favor split meals. After the feeding bottle, make sure the baby is not rotting and do not lie down. If he is in his bed, elevate the feet of the head bed by 15 cm. Avoid too much time trips in maxi cozy, which “curls up” the stomach. Finally, favor a “relax” atmosphere during breastfeeding or bottle feeding, it would decrease regurgitation!
Lovers or seals?
“Generally speaking, the less you give your child medication, the less you put on your skin, the better. We must stop conditioning the child with automatism “I have pain, so I take medicine” insists Dr. Gelbert. Let’s rehabilitate the pocket of ice, the hug and the magic kiss of mamma on the bump or the Bobo rather than to give a small pill systematically! “