Time For Your Check-up

I am no stranger to the Pediatric Urgent Care, the ER, or the inside of an ambulance.
This is for sure nothing to brag about, but each of my kids has been treated in an ambulance, and 2/3 have been whisked away with me holding back tears, praying that they’d be OK.
You guys remember our latest scare with Scarlet being in the PICU for a week earlier this year with RSV’s evil cousin.  Now, I’m constantly nervous that every runny nose will send us packing back to that PICU!
Ivy has had a couple of febrile seizures, which is the most terrifying thing to watch your little baby go through.  Luckily, she’s only had 2, and it’s been a couple years since that last one (knock on wood) that we might be out of the woods???
Max has pretty much been as healthy as a horse, but has broken his arm and scary run-in with an ER when he was 2 because he may or may not have eaten a bunch of prenatal vitamins while we were on a little vacation with some friends.  (Max is the one that is most terrorized by doctors and needles after being strapped/pinned down to a gurney and 4-5 attempts at drawing blood out of his teeny 2-year-old sized veins).

What I’m saying is, that going to the Doctor can be so scary for kids, especially when they have been faced with urgent medical situations.  Sure, it all works out OK in the end, but the next time it’s time for a check up, they relive the nightmare in their head, and fear going anywhere close to a doctor’s office.

Luckily, my kids, for the most part, have bounced back seamlessly from their medical scares.  (Ivy is a champion shot-getter.)  But, I have no doubt that some of that is due in part to their pretend play.
My two older kids, Max and Ivy love to play Doctor.  (remember that dress-up I made Ivy here?)  I love to peek in on them and listen to what their treating each other with.  Inevitably, Max treats Ivy for a broken arm, and an ear infection(both of which he has had and has lived to tell the tale, while Ivy, who doesn’t cry when she gets her shots, gives Max hundreds of them.  I even hear them mimicking the silly things that their cute pediatrician says to them when they visit him.
They watch me give Scarlet her breathing treatments, and then the next day, I watched Ivy giving one to her baby doll.
Role-playing makes the scary stuff seem not-so-scary, don’t you think?  The kids take what they’ve experienced and turn it into what they are an expert on.
Similarly, that darling Disney Junior TV show, Doc McStuffins is a fantastic way to make going to the doctor not so intimidating.  I like watching that show, and it’s fun to see my kids re-enact the things that Doc treats her stuffed friends for.
Plus, Doc’s got a bunch of great tips for Mom to make your back-to-school, well-child trips to the doctor be a little more fun, and a little less scary, like check-off lists, etc.
Get excited, because Doc McStuffins, Season 2 is about to begin, rolling out with brand new episodes every Friday in September, premiering on Disney Junior on September 6, 2013.
(check out the Doc McStuffins site for more info). Find out if The Doc Mobile Tour is coming to your city and watch a preview of the new episodes here!

So, while my kids can get a little more comfortable with Doctors visits by role-playing, and by watching cute shows like ‘Doc’, I feel like there are a couple things I have discovered through the years that have either made my life easier in stressful situations, made me feel more prepared for an emergency, or helped me to feel like I’m keeping my kids healthy.
Here are a couple of the tricks I have up my sleeve:
(in no particular order)

My girls can’t keep liquid medicine down when they have high fevers. After not being able to keep medicine down, and therefore not being able to keep her temperature down (and a irrational fear of Ivy having another seizure) I’ve discovered the joy of acetaminophen suppositories.  You have to ask for these in the Pharmacy because they have to be kept in the fridge, but they’re easier on little tummies, get into the blood stream faster than when taken orally, and the best…they can’t puke them up!

-Heaven help the mom with kids throwing up in the night.  sick!
I learned this trick from my wise neighbor, who has a little boy with hydrocephalus.  He threw up constantly his first 18 months of life.  Rather than constantly changing sheets every hour in the middle of the night, She layers beach towels in his bed (you know the really thick absorbent ones) even 3-4 deep.  Each time he’d get sick, they’d bundle up the top towel, clean up the baby, and a new fresh towel was already ready to go.  Genius I tell you!

On a lesser note,
carry a mini first aid kit with you in your diaper bag and in your car.  (we show you how to make a simple one here)  You never know when someone will need a band-aid..and you get to be the supermom that happens to have one on hand.  love that feeling!

Get babysitters often?  After Ivy’s seizures happened, I wanted to make sure that if I left her, that her sitter would know what to do if it ever happened again.  I made up this little cheat sheet of info, regarding what to do for your child’s individual needs, just in case, and have it hanging on my fridge as a reference.

-Lastly, I carry “han-itizer” in my car, in my stroller and in my purse.  (you know, hand sanitizer…han-itizer) Literally, the first thing my kids do when they get in my car from school, or from the child care at the gym is lube up.  We say: fronts, backs, cracks…That’s a given, but maybe you guys don’t have it in your car yet!

So, now, I’m asking you…How do you keep your kids healthy on the go, with snack ideas or other fun activities or ideas?  (I showed you my list, now you show me yours!)  Comment for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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