During the period in which your child is undergoing treatment, fever becomes an enemy because it is often the first sign of infection. Parents take hundreds of temperatures, especially when their child is not feeling well. Temperatures can be taken under the tongue, under the arm, or in the ear using a special type of thermometer. Rectal temperatures are not recommended due to the risk of tears and infection. Here are a few suggestions that might help, especially when blood counts are depressed.
• Use a glass thermometer under the tongue.
• Use a digital thermometer under the tongue or arm. Some have an alarm that beeps when it is time to remove the thermometer.
We bought a digital thermometer that we only use under his arm. It has worked well for us.
• Tympanic thermometers measure infrared waves and are very easy to use.
When my in-laws asked at diagnosis if there was anything that we needed, I asked them to try to buy a tympanic (ear) thermometer. The device cost over a hundred dollars then, but it worked beautifully. It takes only one second to obtain a temperature. You can even use it when she is asleep without waking her. They are now sold at pharmacies and drug stores, and cost much less.
Before you leave the hospital, you should know when to call the clinic because of fever. Usually, parents are told not to give any medication for fever and to call if the fever goes above 101° F (38.5° C). It is especially important for parents of children with implanted catheters to know when to call the clinic, as an untreated infection can be life-threatening. It is also very helpful to have a copy of your child's most recent blood count when you call to notify your physician about fever.
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Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.