Mom's Survival Kit For Coping with Common Family Illnesses.

We are finally on the mend from sickness.  This is the third stomach bug episode to plow through our home in the last 8 months.  I have finally gotten my game plan down to a science.  Because viruses don't tend to give you much warning or time to prepare before their arrival.  One way of preparing for illnesses is to try and have First Aid containers stocked with basic items at all times.  Another valuable resource is TeleHealth Ontario.  They have had many late night phone calls from me and are always kind and patient.  I think I called them EVERYDAY the first week we brought our daughter home two years ago.

About TeleHealth:
When should I call?
When you have a general health question, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. A call to Telehealth Ontario will give you confidential advice about any health-related concerns such as :
Symptoms that could require medical attention
Illness or injury
Chronic illnesses
Nutrition and healthy lifestyles
Teen health and lifestyle issues
A call to Telehealth Ontario
does not replace 911 — that's always the first number you should call in emergency situation. [1]
Here are a few of my must have First Aid items:

Thermometers- I have two, one is for measuring temperature via forehead, and the other is an oral reader.  A normal body temperature can fall anywhere between 35 - 37 C or 95 - 98.6 F.  Normal body temperature can vary throughout the day, and can also be higher or lower depending on where you are measuring it.  Rectal measurements are considered most accurate, but I prefer to do oral or armpit readings on myself, and the forehead reader for my daughter because she screams when anyone tries to use an ear thermometer.  I add a degree to any reading done in the armpit, or forehead because your temperature tends to read lower in these places (lower than the more accurate rectal or ear readings).
What is a fever?
In most adults, an oral temperature above 100°F (37.8°C) or a rectal or ear temperature above 101°F (38.3°C) is considered a fever. A child has a fever when his or her rectal temperature is 100.4°F (38°C) or higher.[2]

Tylenol and Advil- Fever reduction is important and may help offer some comfort to little ones.  There really aren't any OTC medicines to help with symptoms of cold, flu, and gastro-intestinal illnesses for children under 6 years old.  I also purchased syringe-type droppers for accurately administering liquid meds. After an experiment in measuring my teaspoons, I found that some hold up to 8 ml of liquid, while others only hold 4 ml.
My travel First Aid kit.

 First Aid Box- I have various OTC meds for relief from cold and flu symptoms, ointment for cuts and scrapes, pain and fever meds, and sunburn/burn relief spray.  I also keep an extra prescription inhaler just in case. We have had an emergency situation where my hubby's inhaler was lost during an asthma attack.
Large Absorbent Pads- I bought a package of 20 pads for about $9 (when I was 9 months pregnant and afraid of my water breaking and ruining my mattress).  I just used the last of these pads during the recent round of sickness. I laid them in Princess Destructo's car seat or stroller so there is some protection from diaper leakages on the way to Doctor's appointments.

Notepad and Pen-  Record symptoms, when medication doses are given, and any other important information a doctor would need to know.  I had a fabulous memory and was very organized before having my daughter, this quickly disappeared after she was born. I try hard to remain organized now, but my memory is terrible.  Our first 2 AM trip to the emergency room taught me that I can't rely on memory alone to communicate with health care providers.  Even the most organized and level-headed person might forget important details after 3 full days of no sleep.

Generally I hope for the best, plan for the worst when it comes to common illnesses.  There is no way to completely prevent colds and stomach bugs, but having a few easy plans in place does help.  Do you have a game plan when it comes to sickness?


Disclaimer: I am not a Physician. Any advice contained in this post is based on personal experience, not expert opinion.

Image credits: Mother and Child image, Fever scale image. 

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