Midnight Field Trip to the ER


When our babies are sick, all we want to do is make them feel better.  It’s an awful feeling when all of the things you try just don’t seem to be helping. 

That’s where I was last week when my favorite little person in the whole world was feeling awful.  It started on a Saturday afternoon, and by Sunday night, her temp had reached 104.9, and we were at a loss. 

We were alternating Tylenol and Advil, trying to get her fever down, but it just didn’t seem to be working.  After calling the afterhours line at our pediatrician’s and hearing from them that we should take her to the ER, we were a bit rattled.  This was our first experience going to the ER with Lyra.  In fact, it was my first experience going to the ER, period. 

Ultimately, the whole experience went smoothly, but it’s definitely not something I’d like to repeat.  They ended up catheterizing her to get a urine sample to rule out a UTI, which was awful.  They took chest x-rays, which was so scary for my little girl, and they also tested for the flu. 

In the end, it ended up being an upper respiratory infection.  They gave her more Advil and Tylenol and her fever went down fairly fast after that.  We followed up with antibiotics, and she’s now like new!

I’m sure a lot of you have gone through something similar, and if not, you probably will.  What I want to share with you are some home remedies that I heard about after the fact, as well as a tip from the ER doctors.  Hopefully using these tips and advice, we can avoid a trip to the ER in the future.  Obviously, I have to add the disclaimer here that I am NOT a doctor or anything close, so please don’t take this advice without first consulting your doctor to make sure they approve. 

Per our doctor at the ER, you can jump start the medication process if the fever has reached scary heights by giving both Tylenol AND Advil at the same time.  They are different drugs and can therefore be administered together.  They then suggested alternating the two so that you’re giving one or the other every 3 to 4 hours, as needed.  If the fever is still high, it could be something more serious, so definitely don’t hold back on that visit to the ER at that point. 

Some other home remedies I heard about from friends that may save you that trip: 

–        Slice an onion and put a couple slices on the bottom of their feet and then add socks

–        Same as above, but use a potato

–        Luke warms baths (not cold, but cooler than their temp)

–        Soak two washcloths in egg whites and place on the feet with socks over this


–        Dip a washcloth in warm water mixed with a cup of white vinegar and place on their forehead

–        Mix crushed garlic and olive oil, apply to the soles of the feet, wrap in plastic, and then sleep in these overnight

I don’t know about you, but a lot of those sound pretty messy.  Of course, when your little one is hurting, there’s not much a mom won’t do to help!  In our case, I wonder if any of these remedies would have helped us avoid that trip to the ER.  Obviously I don’t know, but I feel like it’s probably worth a shot next time! 

Unfortunately, living with a toddler means dealing with various illnesses, but if there’s a way to relive her pain faster, I’m all for it! 

Are there any home remedies you’ve tried that have worked?  I’d love to add some more to my list to try out next time!

What do you think?

Midnight Field Trip to the ER

Shiloh Johnson is mom to Lyra (a beautiful, independent, smart, strong-willed 5 year old) and Coda (the most loving, sweet-natured, yet still wild and crazy, little boy), wife to Brett (a man who completes her life in ways she never knew needed completing), and currently the Director of Content here at EverydayFamily (the best job EVER!). Growing up with all brothers and a single mom here in Tampa, FL, she may have an edge to her, but gives love freely and unconditionally to those in her life. ... More

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  1. Yes, I’ve heard that as well! Great tip!! These were just some stories I’ve heard from friends who say it works, and I figured they can’t hurt to try. Ultimately they may be part "old-wives tales" and may not do the trick, but if it did, that’s way easier than going to the ER 🙂

  2. To be completely honest, I’m not sure! They are just some tips I’ve heard from friends who swear they work, and I figured it can’t hurt to try, right? If it does work, then you’ve saved a trip to the ER!

  3. lyndsey says:

    how does putting onions and potatoes and garlic help with pain?? i have never heard of doing this!

  4. Um, I’m not sure why you would put the garlic oil on their feet, since allicin isn’t absorbed effectively transdermally. But, garlic is a pretty powerful antibiotic when it is raw, and you can apply garlic oil to cuts, scrapes, and even as ear drops! The raw garlic is pretty acidic, so it can sting when it is really fresh. I soak my crushed garlic in the oil at least overnight, and then strain out the pulp and just use the straight oil.


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