Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kids and Illness

The kids and I have the same flu. It's inevitable, since no matter if I am sick or not, they climb all over me, snuggle with me, and kiss me. They are going to get it if I have it, and vice versa. Right now, we are hoping that Ray won't get it too.

I took Liam and I off to see the doctor on Monday afternoon. He's hacking like a 2-pack-a-day smoker and my ears are aching like crazy. We were both pronounced with the flu and nothing to be done about it. Wait it out. Still.

The thing that gets me is that I was told to take Advil or Tylenol Cold and Sinus. To relieve the pressure of the congestion in my ears and face. It makes sense.

Would it not make sense to do that for the kids too? Especially Liam, who has been coughing at an increasing rate and more "barking" sounding every day? Liam who is up 6-20 times a night. I figured out that it is the snot running down his throat that is triggering it. It's worse when he lays down. Does he not need and deserve sleep? Especially to recover?

Except...over the past 4 years the government has slowly determined that cold medications "don't help anyway" and that some people overdose their kids by not paying attention. So first they removed all of the infant cold remedies and now, they have removed everything until a child is 6 years old.


And here is where I get angry. Why oh why are my kids, who are not six years old yet, less worthy of symptomatic relief that a six year old or an adult? Do I as a parent not deserve sleep and relief from it all too? Have they also not thought out that by depriving a child of these medications they are also increasing the spread of these germs? How do you think viruses spread? It's not an invitational affair! Kids cough and sneeze on each other and get each other sick. If we slow down the coughing and sneezing does it not slow down the spreading of germs?

I am by far not stupid enough to think that giving my kid something to stem the snot means that he is over it. It's relieving the symptoms, not eliminating the flu. But relief is of value too.

And speaking to the "accidental overdosing" argument...well, I could accidentally overdose my kids on advil or tylenol too. Or vitamins, for crying out loud. This kind of legislation is what my husband calls catering to the lowest common denominator. And there is a lot of that in this world. Why not educate parents and caregivers about the risks of overdose and proper management tools? Heaven forbid we read the ingredients on the labels of our medicines and write down what we give to which kid and when! Nope, making us all suffer needlessly when our children are sick is a better option.


Thankfully, while I still have bottles that have the dosages for smaller people in my hands, I am comparing the ingredients and dosages with the current standards for the 6-12 year olds, and determining the proper dosages for my own children. So they don't have to snort, hack and cough all over the place. It's not a virtue to suffer, so I will not make them do it. But if I am doing this, and I am pretty much a rules fanatic, then you can guarantee that the stupid people who would have been overdosing with the right medication will do it too. Only I bet their math is not as good as mine. Scary thought, huh.

From the frying pan into the fire.


mapsgirl said...

I completely agree with you. Why should our kids suffer? Soooo not fair.

I too have older bottles of meds with the children's dosing on them and will hold onto those. Not that I'm giving my kids expired meds, but I want to know what to give them when I buy a new bottle that doesn't come with a dosing amount for kids under 6.

Tho I am glad that some meds are done by weight becuase my 4 year old is the size of a 6 year old and almost falls into the big enough weight class.

This parenting thing is hard enough to begin with, why are they trying to make it harder??

Laura said...

Mapsgirl, my 4 year old is also on the larger size and I like it better when the dosing is done by weight.

Thanks for the support!