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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

I have a poorly boy in the middle of the night

(25 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Mon 22-Dec-14 02:10:46

Any advice from anyone, please, I have a poorly boy in the middle of the night?

He is aged 4, almost 4 and a half and has had a cough for a few weeks. I got the cough checked out at doctors about a week ago and she did not seem worried. He also had quite a red cheek and the pharmacist was not concerned.

Tonight he was very hot and when I Thermoscanned him he was 39.4 in one ear and 39.6 in the other. I have given him Calpol for his age (2 spoons) and some cold water to drink. I also rolled the glass over his cheeks and thankfully the colour went out of the cheeks where I pressed the glass firmly. He thought I was doing it to cool him down so was happy to comply. The cheeks are not blotchy.

Earlier on today he felt hot and his hands felt cold but gave Calpol (at about 6.30) and he was fine, playing with friends on a rare night out at someone's house for tea.

I just checked his hands and they feel warm.

After he had the medicine he said he felt better. I re-scanned and he is 39.5 and 39.4 so a minuscule improvement.

I am not sure how accurate thermoscan is but the booklet says the normal range is up to 38.

I feel he is OK but I wonder if it might be slapped cheek.

His eyelid has gone rather red above the eye and also below the eye. The eye looked a bit weepy with a tiny spot of 'yellow gunk' the size of a match head - sorry TMI!

He seems OK, although tired but it was a night out and we did not get him into his PJs until after 9.00, which is late for him.

Anyone got any advice at all, please?

Thank you.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Mon 22-Dec-14 02:17:25

Hi, sorry to hear he's not feeling well, poor mite sad

I wondered if it might be slapped cheek as I was reading it, but not sure if it's down to how you were writing it iyswim.

Have you tried to get hold of someone from the NHS?

If it were me and he were mine, I'd wait until the morning and book a doctors apt. But given your situation, I might be a little more inclined to take him to A&E if he seems that unwell. It's so hard without seeing him.

TheFirstSolo Mon 22-Dec-14 02:19:57

My Dd had slapped cheek a couple of years ago, but was not that unwell or with a raised temperature with it when the redness came out. I think she had been unwell some time before the redness. In fact, the SC virus causes the redness to come out towards the end of the whole thing iirc. Hope that makes sense to you.

I always give my Dd nurofen or similar rather than paracetamol if she has a raised temp, but if there is no improvement after 2 or 3 days, it would be a trip to the GP or nurse practitioner.

TanteRose Mon 22-Dec-14 02:21:03

its worrying when they're ill, isn't it..

I would just keep an eye on him - sleep is the best medicine so its good that he is getting a good sleep

a high temperature in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but if he starts getting unresponsive or lethargic, he needs to be seen.

make sure he doesn't get dehydrated - if he does'nt want to drink much, ice lollies are a good idea

flowers

howcomes Mon 22-Dec-14 02:23:21

My ds, same age, has had the exact same symptoms for the last 2 days. It has been a nasty cold virus he picked up at school which is doing the rounds here in Toronto.
Calpol has brought his temp down from 38.2 to 37 and apart from a runny nose and sticky eye which I have been wiping with cooled boiled water he seems to be getting better.

Hopefully everyone will be fighting fit for Xmas. Hope your wee guy feels better soon

Italiangreyhound Mon 22-Dec-14 02:27:28

Thanks so much * ChippingInLovesChristmasLights*, TheFirstSolo and TanteRose.

It is so hard to know because I will need to wait him up again in a minute to take his temperature.

He has been OK most of today, eating normally, drinking, having fun. Poor little soul. He has a fun day planned tomorrow as well but I will be down the pharmacist and doctor if needed.

Graciescotland Mon 22-Dec-14 02:28:04

I'd try and get my hands on some childrens ibuprofen. You can give it in parallel with calpol. Also IME it's what NHS24 recommend trying when you have a sickly child with a temperature. The two together does seem to work.

My sympathies I hate it when the DC have an overnight mystery fever.

Italiangreyhound Mon 22-Dec-14 02:28:40

Thanks howcomes, hope your little lad is better soon.

TanteRose Mon 22-Dec-14 02:28:54

goodness, don't wake him up just to take his temperature!

let him sleep, really, its the best thing

or has your doctor told you to take his temperature?

Italiangreyhound Mon 22-Dec-14 02:29:27

Thanks Graciescotland why do they recommend both?

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Mon 22-Dec-14 02:34:18

They fight things in different ways and can be taken together. I usually offset 2 hourly.

I wouldn't wake him to take his temperature, no way. If he's sleeping and breathing ok, I'd take him into my bed and try to get some sleep.

9 yo has just had something very similar, temps, redness on her face, but otherwise ok. She was pretty much back to normal in 48 hours.

RoseberryTopping Mon 22-Dec-14 02:35:31

Nurofen should bring his temp right down, is it possible to get some? Make sure he's in light pyjamas and the room as cool as possible.
If you get very worried don't hesitate to call the NHS number.

Italiangreyhound Mon 22-Dec-14 03:28:04

His temperature is down to 38.2ish (between 38.2 and 38.7) and he looks less red. I called 111 and the guy was very helpful. I am going to dress him in T-shirt and pull ups as what he is wearing may be too hot.

He seems alert and doesn't seem too annoyed that I keep waking him to take his temperature.

Am off to sleep now.

Thank you for your help.

Will get some Children's Nurofen in for next time! Although I think the guy at 111 said only to alternate if the temperature not coming down and it is so should be OK.

they are calling back tomorrow with advice on how to manage him. I expect he will be better by then! I said not to call straight back as I think we all need some sleep now and he does seem to be better

Hope Howcomes little one is better soon.

Thanks.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Mon 22-Dec-14 03:40:01

Sorry Italian, didn't think to ask what he was wearing, just assumed that he'd be in that already. I'm sure he'll be on the mend in the morning. When the 9yo had it, she felt fine the next morning and we went to a thing she had planned, but she was exhausted after and had a temp later in the evening, but was totally fine by the following day.

Definitely get some children's neurofen in, it's much better for a temp and as they can have both they might as well. Unless they're ill a lot, it really doesn't hurt to give them both if you're in any doubt as to which would help the most.

Hope you can both get some sleep now
X

howcomes Mon 22-Dec-14 03:57:25

Thanks Italian!

RoseberryTopping Mon 22-Dec-14 07:07:34

That's good smile he might just be getting a bit of a bug and his temperature just means he's fighting it off. It's always more reassuring to speak to the nhs line though isn't it.

RoseberryTopping Mon 22-Dec-14 07:07:52

Hope he wakes up feeling a lot better

Threesocksnohairbrush Mon 22-Dec-14 07:39:44

Poor lovey. Hope he feels better in the morning - if that was one of mine Id say a sofa/telly/tablet day was in order and this close to Christmas I might think about a drs appt just to check there's nothing going on that could be treated.

DD 6 has just had a hideous cold/flu bug with high temps which kept coming back in the evening. She is now convalescent but had about four days of being pretty poorly. I forget, has your young man started part time school this term? If so he will be SHATTERED and so much more vulnerable to whatever's going.

Re temps - 38 is the threshold for an 'official' fever. Id expect either of mine to go over 39 if they were good and poorly with eg a fluey cold or tonsillitis. Around 40 degrees is proper poorly. If temp is responding to calpol/ nurofen that's a good sign.

NICE guidelines on feverish children (google) are a useful read - they also have a traffic light chart for health professionals with the signs of when a feverish child needs urgent intervention. Regards calpol and nurofen they suggest you should be giving them to make child comfortable rather than just to bring down the fever, and are not keen on alternating/ giving together unless you've talked to a health professional first.

For DS who had febrile convulsions and really did need to have his temp controlled, we used to give him calpol or Nurofen alternately every four hours - so calpol 4am, nurofen 8am, etc. DD I tend to give as needed but will alternate medicines with each dose so if she gets v feverish we don't run out if options. Tip, write down what you've given and when so you don't lose track!

Agree I really wouldn't wake a sleeping child to take temps. With DS we discovered that you can stick a thermometer in their ear and if required, rouse them just enough to squirt in a syringe of calpol, all without waking them smile To be fair we were in rock and hard place territory there as if woken he tended to spike a fever and fit ...

With DD I have a feel, if she's boiling hot to the touch I might rouse gently and take a temperature, but in general I leave well alone - if she wakes with a high fever she will soon let me know about it! I do quite often bring poorly/ feverish children in with us as then if they are ill you know ASAP.

Hope he's feeling more himself this morning and on form for Christmas!

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Mon 22-Dec-14 08:12:51

How is he this morning?

Italiangreyhound Mon 22-Dec-14 13:00:08

Thanks all, sorry I thought I had posted this morning.

He is better. His temperature was still 38.8 this morning so when 111 called back asd agreed we chatted through things and they said he needed to be seen within 24 hours. Have an appointment this afternoon at docs. Thanks for your care.

I will be buying more Calpol and some Nurofen.

I wonder why people seem to prefer Nurofen?

Threesocksnohairbrush Mon 22-Dec-14 13:06:22

I think sometimes the two medicines just act in different ways and if one won't act on the fever the other will. Nurofen is also a bit longer acting - I tend to find calpol wears off sharpish after 4 hours whereas nurofen is more like 6-8.

Kids prefer the flavour of nurofen smile

Showy Mon 22-Dec-14 13:16:37

Brilliant advice from threesocks.

You should NOT routinely alternate nurofen and calpol. The advice is to give one and if it doesn't work, switch to the other. If you still have a child who is in pain/discomfort then you take medical advice and they may advise alternating the two but this shouldn't usually be necessary and it's not something you should do without advice first. And you shouldn't alternate them 2 hourly either. Ibuprofen should only be given 6 hourly, NOT 4 hourly.

Plus, meds shouldn't be given with the aim of lowering a temperature. In fact a child with a fever who is otherwise okay in terms of no pain, shouldn't be given medicine. A fever is the body working hard to fight something and you don't need to lower it unless medically advised. To make a hot child comfortable, loose cotton clothing, air circulating and fluids all help.

It's always the middle of the night isn't it? I hope the appointment goes well. It'll give you peace of mind to have chest/ears/throat checked for bacterial infection. Here's hoping he's recovered for Christmas!

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory btw which is why people often respond better to it. Depends what hurts and why!

Italiangreyhound Mon 22-Dec-14 13:38:30

Thanks showy I am ab ig fan of official advice so I do like to check things out. I was glad i called 111 and I was impressed to speak to someone very quickly and it was thorough.

Shamazeballs Mon 22-Dec-14 13:41:59

DS (15 months) had a chest infection last week and the doctor said to give calpol and nurofen at the same time as his temp was 39.8. It seems to vary everywhere.

Showy Mon 22-Dec-14 13:46:42

As said above, the advice is not to routinely alternate and only do so if medically advised. It's not unsafe to alternate, just not advised that you take the decision yourself. In your case Shamaze, the doctor advised it. In most circumstances, a child who requires meds (one in pain/discomfort) should be fine to manage with one of them. If not, then they need to see somebody/you need to speak to somebody anyway.

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