September 2, 2014
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Infection

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H1N1 and my baby: One mom's experience

New mom Trish Rawn shares her experience of what happened when her 1-year-old daughter came down with H1N1.

How did you first notice your baby was sick?

My daughter's symptoms started quite suddenly. She was fine in the morning, but just before noon, her daycare called to say that she had a fever of 104°F. I rushed over to pick her up and she was very limp and exhausted. She was coughing and breathing quickly. She also had that “sick baby” look: sad eyes, pale face, and a vacant stare.

How did you decide what to do next?

I called my doctor's office and explained the situation. They suggested I take her to emergency, so I bundled her into the car seat and drove down to the hospital. First, we were seen by a triage nurse, and then, after 9 hours of waiting, we saw the doctor.

How did they know it was H1N1?

The doctor asked about her symptoms, took her temperature, and checked her chest, ears, and throat. He explained that they were no longer testing children for H1N1 because most of the tests came back positive. So based on my daughter's symptoms, they assumed that it was “probable H1N1.”

Did your daughter have the H1N1 flu shot?

Yes, but only 5 days before she got sick, so she wasn't protected by the shot yet.

What are you doing to take care of her at home?

Right now we are making sure she gets plenty of rest and fluids. We're also keeping an eye on how much she is eating and drinking, and whether she is making plenty of wet diapers. We're also treating her fever with Tylenol® (acetaminophen). Since her symptoms started less than 48 hours before she was seen by the doctor, we got a prescription for Tamiflu®, so we're using that too. We're giving it to her with food so it's less likely to upset her stomach.

How is your daughter feeling?

She's starting to get better. Her fever is under control, and she's beginning to have some more energy to smile and play.

Do you have any tips for other parents?

If you do need to bring your child in to see a doctor, bring all the supplies you'll need in case there's a long wait. When I rushed off to pick up my daughter, the only thing on my mind was getting her to the hospital as quickly as possible. But once I got there I realized I had forgotten quite a few things that would have made the wait easier, like her wipes, her soother, a blanket, and an extra change of clothes for her. We wound up having to buy some of these items in the hospital drugstore.

Make sure you get medical advice so your child gets the care they need, and after that, try not to panic. I know I definitely panicked when I got the call from my daughter's daycare. But after we had been seen by a doctor and had a plan for how to care for her at home, I started to relax and just focus on helping her get better.


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