The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

A Closer Look
Tips to Remember

It’s inevitable that one day your child will come home with a cold or flu. So remember:

  • Treat a child’s fever and pains with tylenol or motrin
  • Never give a child aspirin

If the child has

  • Trouble breathing
  • Is irritable
  • Lethargic
  • Or has a fever lasting more than a few days, talk to a doctor

For the stomach flu,

  • Keep infants hydrated with electrolyte solutions like pedialyte
  • For older children, give them water, clear soda, or sports drinks

And as any mother can tell you, make sure they get plenty of rest and lots of love.


When Your Child Is Sick

By Cynthia Savage and Tim Branson
The 700 Club It’s the cold and flu season. What should you do if your child comes down with a fever or even just the sniffles?  Dr. Joe Gigante at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital shared with us some things to keep in mind.

One of the first things to consider is what to do when your child has a fever.

Dr. Gigante says, “Kids can tolerate much higher fevers than adults can.  So we’ll sometimes see temperatures into 104, 105 range, which again always scares parents a lot. When you notice that the child does have a high fever, give them Tylenol and give them a Motrin.”

For stomach viruses, Dr. Gigante says it is important to keep your child hydrated.

“With real young infants, we’ll often suggest Pedialyte,” he says. “It contains a lot of the electrolytes that kids are losing as a result of the vomiting and diarrhea.  For somewhat older children, [try] Gatorade or other clear liquids like either water or sometimes soda. Sprite would be something that is pretty easy on their stomach.”

Another common question parents ask is when should you take your child to a doctor?  Dr. Gigante says there are no hard, fast rules. However, as a guideline, he suggests to take your child in “if the fever persists or the child starts to really act sick. With infants we’ll sometimes see one of two ends of the spectrum.  When they are crying, parents describe them as being irritable and there’s nothing they can do to calm them down. Another concern is almost the exact opposite.  Where a child is what we call lethargic or they’re sleeping.  They are out of it, and there’s nothing to do to wake them up.”

He continues, “I think any kind of breathing problem is also another reason to bring the child in. So if it seems like the child is having labored breathing, is working really hard to breath, can’t catch their breath, that could be a sign of some kind of infection in their chest and lungs. That would be another reason to bring your child to the doctor’s office or the emergency room.”

I also asked Dr. Gigante about over-the-counter cold and cough medicines.  He said that while they may sometimes work for adults, studies show they have little affect on children.  

While keeping your child away from viruses is impossible, Dr. Gigante offers some old fashioned advice.

“Rather than investing your money on cold medicines, I’d invest in some of these hand soaps to be able to pull out and wash your kids’ hands if they’re going to be out and about.”

Want to learn more about patient care? See other features in the Patient 101 series:

How to Have a Successful Surgery

The Real E.R.

Overdosing America (Part 1)

Overdosing America (Part 2)

The Guide to a Speedy Recovery

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