Sick Kids Safety

Your sick kids safety is something to keep in mind when you are giving medications or trying other interventions. Charting at home is a simple way of documenting your child’s symptoms, interventions, and response to treatments.

Unlike in hospitals, at home, charting can be informal and requires only a pen and a piece of paper. In this article, I’ll discuss the basics of charting and how to comfort a sick child safely.

Why use charting at home?

I have five children and when they all come down with an illness at the same time, it can be difficult to remember who is spiking fevers and who I last gave medicine to. I have used simple charting to help me stay organized and provide better care to everyone.

What is Charting?

Charting is the process of documenting a patient’s history, physical status, and response to treatments. In hospitals, charting is can be an intensive process. At home, charting can be as easy as jotting down details about your child’s illness and how you are treating it.

Why Should You Give Charting a Try?

Charting can be a helpful tool for parents when trying to comfort their child. By keeping track of symptoms, interventions, and response to treatments, parents can:

  • Determine if additional medical attention is needed.
  • Remember important details to tell the pediatrician during a doctor’s visit.
  • Keep track of medication dosages and times to ensure the child’s safety.
  • Determine which interventions work best for your child.

How to Chart at Home

Charting at home is simple and requires only a pen and paper or a dedicated journal. Here are some basic things to consider when writing things down.

  • Time and date when symptoms started
  • Description of the symptoms (e.g., runny nose, pain, rash)
  • Child’s pain or comfort level
  • Interventions tried (e.g., rest, medication, bulb suctioning)
  • Effectiveness of interventions
  • Medications given and time of administration
  • Vital signs (e.g., temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate)
  • Observations (e.g., activity level, eating and sleeping habits, bowel movements)

You can write down as much or as little is you find helpful. Just remember to put your notes where you can find them. Using a magnetic notepad attached to the fridge can be a great place where notes are easy to locate.

A quick example how how you can write your notes

10/24 afternoon – John has a cough and doesn’t feel well. His discomfort scale is 4, and he has a fever of 101.2. Gave Tylenol at 2:00 pm. He’s not hungry and just wants to sleep.

Watching trends

If you prefer to keep everything in one place, a dedicated journal is a useful tool. By looking at trends over time, you may be able to identify patterns that can provide insights into your child’s physical and mental health. For example, if your child experiences frequent stomach aches, you can look back over the past year to see if there’s a pattern.

How can watching trends be helpful?

If you have a child with a known diagnosis such as asthma or allergies, taking notes can make a huge difference in managing chronic conditions. Understanding which circumstance worsen or improve your child’s symptoms is a key factor in treating them effectively.

The case for always writing down when you give a child medications

Administering medications to our children is actually one of the more high-risk things we do as parents. There is a high possibility for error that could have serious consequences. What can go wrong?

A mother gives her young child medicine. Sick kids safety should be a priority when giving medications,

Medication administration risks

  • Early Administration: This could occur when you forget the last time you gave your child medicine.
  • Overdose:You could overdose a child by giving too much of a medication. Without proper communication, parents may inadvertently each give a dose of the same medication.
  • Late Administration: Not knowing when you last gave a medicine could cause you to provide a med later than when could have.
  • Missed Dose: You could forget to give an important medication like a scheduled antibiotic.

Final Thoughts

Part of learning how to care for a sick child at home is paying attention to the details. Charting at home is a simple and effective way to comfort your child when they are not feeling well. By keeping track of symptoms, interventions, and responses to treatments, it can help you determine if additional medical attention is needed. You’ll also be able remember important details to share with their pediatrician. As you take notes you’ll identify what works best for your child and help keep them safe!

Looking for more smart ways to care for your child when they are sick? Check out my article love your children, trust yourself.

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