Doc Talk #32 – Childhood illness (part 1)


In this show Dr Dan talked about common childhood illness, including fever and diarrhoea and vomiting.

  • Over-the-counter tylenol and advil can work really well for children with fevers, transforming them from being cranky and miserable, to running around playing and happy once more
  • A special note of caution: babies under the age of 3 months with any fever should be seen by a medical professional – there is a higher risk of more serious illness, including sepsis, in these children because of their very young age
  • Viral illness often produce swinging fevers. Do not be alarmed if you give advil or tylenol and the temperature still goes up! It would have been even higher without it. The actual number is less important than how your child is – if they are eating, drinking, playing and not vomiting then that is reassuring, even if their temperature is high
  • A small number of children can end up having seizures as a result of fever. If this happens, do not restrain your child, wait for the seizure to pass. If it goes on for more than 3 minutes, call 911. If it stops and your child recovers, you might be able to take them to the emergency room yourself.


  • Vomiting is more worrying than diarrhoea for causing dehydration
  • Replace fluids with pedialyte or other electrolyte solution designed for children rather than plain water (this is especially important for younger children)
  • The first sign of dehydration is a reduction in the amount that they pass urine, more serious dehydration can lead to lethargy, dry eyes/mouth and irritability


I love the Alberta Health Services Health Education and Learning (HEAL) website – it has some really good, practical information for parents

Alberta Health Link (☎ 811) is also a great source of support and advice