After a spectacular lunch by Log Haven, we had the chance to hear from Pediatrician Meg Meeker, who is also the Author of The Ten Habits of Healthy Mothers and Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. She has been a practicing pediatrician for 25 years and shared with us, a group of mothers, some of her experiences as a doctor and a mother. She spoke a lot about trusting your gut. She explained that recently, Mothers in general have begun to second guess themselves and doubt that Mothers instinct. Her advice: Knock it off! If your gut is telling you that there is really something wrong with your kid, and your doctor just blows you off, go somewhere else! Find someone who will take you seriously and will get your child the care they need.
One of the most beneficial sections of her presentation, was a discussion of fevers. I don't know about you, but I think fevers are terrifying. She dispelled a few myths and gave us some great information to go on. If your child wakes up in the middle of the night with a fever, treat it. Did you know that treating a fever can be a great diagnostic tool? Give your child an appropriate dose of Tylenol or IB Profen, and then watch them. If the fever drops, and they are obviously more comfortable, most likely they are going to be just fine. If, however, you treat the fever and it doesn't move, or they don't act like they feel any better then it is time to call your doctor and get them seen.
She also spoke a lot about dry skin and eczema, which was incredibly helpful to me, as my son has horrible eczema. She introduced us to some techniques to prevent and treat it. The first was using a humidifier. If you are in Utah, or really anywhere in the west, you know how dry and awful it can get in the winter. By using a humidifier in a child's room at night, you can increase the humidity and prevent the eczema from flaring. A fun fact that I didn't know: the influenza virus has more difficultly surviving in 30-60% humidity. All the more reason to pull that humidifier out! The second treatment for eczema, if it does flare, is to slather it in the thickest ointment you can find, Aquaphor or VaniCream, and then if the child is old enough, wrap it in cotton gauze or plastic wrap to hold that water into the skin.
Dr. Meeker also introduced us to a great new product from Vicks: a behind the ear thermometer. I love this. Why? You don't have to stick it IN anything. Simply place the thermometer behind your child's ear, press the button and within seconds you have a reading. You can take their temperature without waking them up. Not only that, but when the reading comes in it will be color coded: if it's low, Green. If it's a mild fever, Yellow. And if you should be calling the doctor, it will be red.