Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sick Baby, Striking Baby & ibuprofen vs. acetaminophen (paracetomal)

The other week Peanut came down with her first real fever and illness. It started out as a small cold like the one her mama had. Until now, I think the fact that I've been nursing her has helped her overcome other sniffly bouts. This time she went on to get a case of diaherrea and a fever.

I called the nurse to see when it was serious enough to come see the doctor.

She advised me to:
1. Give Peanut some Pedialyte to keep her from dehydrating. We'd know she was dehydrated if no tears appeared when she cried or when you put your finger in her mouth and it was not moist.
2. Keep nursing her, but avoid all other dairy (is breastmilk really dairy?!) - and I should as well
3. Feed her the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) until her stomach settles down
4. Give Peanut something to bring down her fever. Our ped provides a dosing chart after every weigh in, but here's one.
5. Call if the temp goes above 105F

Peanut herself was a little trooper. She kept marching around the house with her flushed red cheeks in a diaper and t-shirt. She was sleeping and eating just fine - and suddenly really loved the baby rice cereal she rejected back at 6 mos.

Unfortunately she decided this was the time for her to take a nursing strike! It was her first strike and the timing worried me. She just simply was not interested in milk. She'd sip a bit and then turn around to do anything else. I managed to sneak in an evening milk-down when she was sleepy and then also fed her at night when she woke up (I usually don't feed her at night). It went on for a day or two and then she was suddenly back to normal!

We had paracetamol suppositories from Finland with us, but when we saw that liquid Infant Tylenot was available we went for that since it would be easier to administer (for all of us!).

Paracetamol (which in some countries is called acetaminophen according to ONE website I found -- so whether its true or not - ??) has been safely used for many years to help with mild to moderate pain and fever for babies, young children, older children and adults. But if too much paracetamol is given to a child, especially a sick child, for too long, it can harm the child.

Ibuprofen is a newer drug than paracetamol, but it has also been used for fever and mild to moderate pain in children and adults for some years. It is not suitable for children under 6 months of age.

Paracetamol and ibuprofen do not treat the cause of the pain or fever. Any baby or child who is unwell, or in moderate to severe pain should be seen by a doctor to find out what the cause is.

Ibuprofen does not appear to be more effective than paracetamol, and ibuprofen should not be given at the same time as paracetamol.


Amon said...

Well done on a nice blog Peanut's Mom. I was searching for information on prostate cancer information and ran across your post Sick Baby, Striking Baby & ibuprofen vs. acetaminophen (paracetomal) - not exactly what I was looking for related to prostate cancer information but a very interesting read all the same!

Peanut's Mom said...