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Health & Nutrition

A Sick Child

Little children are like flowers: they immediately cheer up a room, bringing joy to all with their mere presence. Likewise they shrivel up when attacked by the mildest virus or bacteria.


For the last five days our little P had been unwell – a cough and cold which is par for the course considering how hot and humid the whole city has been these past few days. But like all children, he is uncomfortable, refusing to eat and sleep. As usual the whole household is upside down not only upset that he is ill but also exhausted with walking him up and down especially at night time.

What is it with illnesses that always become harder to manage at night? Are the lower night temperatures more conducive to bacterial/viral activity? Or is it that at night everything is more magnified – the cough sounds louder and more racking? In the silence of the night baby’s cries are amplified and become harder to handle.

But more than baby, what I find most difficult is administering the medicine. First off every doctor happily prescribes medicines which for some strange reason are almost always out of stock not just at your regular chemist but the entire State (if your pharmacist is to be believed). And with the strict prescription laws you have to go back to the doctor for the alternate medicine. Then if you are lucky you get the medicine, you have to deal with giving it to baby. For some strange reason paediatric suspensions are viscous and refuse to glide down smoothly. Then, it is impossible to get a sick child to willingly open his mouth and quietly have the dose. Half the dose almost always falls down and you are left with the task of calming down an irate infant and wiping up a sticky mess before the ants get there. And talking about the dose itself, you are expected to measure it in a calibrated cup where you are supposed to guess the 0.5 ml that is not marked!

Honestly I can’t imagine why medicating children can’t be easier? For instance individual doses of slow releasing drugs which can be inserted into a sleeping child’s mouth? I think this is far more worthy of research than iPads for baby Einsteins!

As a mother of two thirty-year old daughters and a grandmother of a nineteen week old grandson, Sunita Rajwade has been there and done that. A hands on mom, she has seen two girls grow successfully through babyhood, toddler hood, adolescence and adulthood; solving their maths problems and contributing to their angst of growing up with a mom “who doesn’t understand”. But now as a grandmother, she’s being appreciated for her “wisdom” and “understanding” and would like to share my experiences of this wonderful journey from motherhood to grandmotherhood.