How to Gently Irrigate Your Child's Ear

How to Gently Irrigate Your Child's Ear
Hey there!

Nurse Mom to Five here. I have a video here on how to remove ear wax buildup in a gentle way.

Now I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you are trained or told to do this by your doctor as you don't want to cause any damage to your child's ear, but here I show you what we do in our home with gentle irrigation.

I have an otoscope and I do inspect in the ear canal to see what is there first. You can buy them on amazon or sometimes your local store may have them. 

I have a welch allyn pocketscope, but you can no longer buy these in most places. Here is one I found that may be useful as it connects to your phone as well!

Now getting familiar with what the ear drum is supposed to look like is super helpful, otherwise you don't even know what you're looking for. It can take a lot of practice and trial-error to know what you're looking at in the ear, so don't be overwhelmed!!! 

Anyways, here is the video for you to view!!!

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Have a wonderful day!!! 

Kara- The Nurse Mom

Are Nurse Practitioners Doctors?

Are Nurse Practitioners Doctors?
Hey there!!!

Nurse Mom to Five here. A question I have had before is this- are nurse practitioners doctors?

The answer is no, they are not the same, but they can do many of the same things as a doctor. I truly feel like they take more time, are more thorough and take the whole picture of the patient. Here is a wonderful comparison if you are wondering kind of what the difference is between them.

I personally would chose a nurse practitioner over a doctor in many cases. The NP's I have seen over the years have a more thorough visit and take the time to really listen to me. Now many doctors I have seen also do this as well, but overall I feel that NP's are more empathetic.NP's also tend to be more holistic, and are also critical thinkers. I have also been to a PA's or Physician Assistant, which is pretty similar to a Nurse Practitioner.

I have had many NP's that are more open to alternative therapies throughout my nursing career, but it also depends on the personality of the provider. I am up front with all of my providers no matter what they think about the way I take care of my kids. Be your child's advocate in all cases, and if you don't happen to jive with somebody, know that there is always someone else to try out. 

A doctor has its pluses and minuses just like an NP- I have also had lots of great doctors that have taken the time to listen to me. My hope for you is that you can make an educated decision on your healthcare provider, and know what the difference is. I have had all sorts of experiences with many doctor visits over the years, and also working along side many different health care providers. 

When would you want a doctor over an NP? Well that depends on your needs. If you are normally healthy and your children are normally healthy, than a family practice NP would be wonderful. If you have special needs or something that is very specialized then I would chose a doctor. 

NP's essentially do the same things as a doctor, but they don't get paid as much :-) 

I hope you can make a well-informed decision and do what is best for your family. 

Have a wonderful day!!! 

The Nurse Mom

Lets Talk about Fevers in Children

Lets Talk about Fevers in Children
Hey there!

I'm The Nurse Mom to six littles and have had our fair share of fevers. Now I know many people have whats called "fever phobia" and I used to have this too. In fact the first time my first child had a fever of 103, I brought her to the ER at two AM. She ended up having an ear infection!!!

Knowing that now, I would have never hauled off my baby to the ER at TWO AM. Educating myself on the knowledge of fevers is something that I have now been able to really feel confident and ready to jump into action or not with a fever!

It's ok though, to be afraid. Just acknowledge that its your fear, and move past it. Our bodies are designed perfectly to be capable of handling a fever, and in FACT this is the bodies natural response to an illness. 

***Keep in mind these tips are not for infants under 3 months of age. Newborns and fever are completely different and please talk with your pediatrician.***

There isn't a "one size fits all" in regards to a fever. Each body handles fevers differently so please do not compare your child to some one else's. 

There isn't any number on the thermometer that should require a fast trip to the ED or a call to the ambulance. Fever is a normal and healthy way for kids to fight off common illnesses, and their bodies are equipped to fight things off. Fever is their bodies immune system kicking into high gear to fight off the bacteria and viruses it has been exposed to and this is a GOOD thing. Seeing a high number does not mean that your child is sicker than a low number on the thermometer. 

How is your child feeling? Some kids with high fevers are still running around normally and some look very slugglish with a low fever. Keep an eye on your child and notice how they feel. 

Fevers do not always need to be treated with antibiotics or any medications for lowering the fever. When you continually lower their fevers with fever reducers, the body's immune system isn't able to do its job and fight off the bug. I only give tylenol or ibuprofen when they need a little break or to get a better nap for healing purposes. Treating the fever could also be beneficial to increase their hydration, some kids won't drink well when they feel yucky!

Use your judgement as a parent to when you think they could use a little break from the illness, but otherwise fever is good and nothing to be afraid of. There are times and certain circumstances when children have febrile seizures. This is something that occurs when a body's temperature rises VERY quickly and causes stress on the brain- which then leads to a febrile seizure. In those circumstances and some others you do need to keep the fevers low. Talk with your pediatrician if you are uncertain.

When you feel confident in treating a fever at home, your child will feel much more at ease as well. Remaining calm and knowing the right things to do to help your child is SO helpful!!!

A few other support ideas for you to do at home: A luke-warm bath with epsom salts like these, essential oils in a roller bottle that you can apply to their spine like peppermint or lavender, cool washcloth on their forehead, cooling forehead sticker pads like these.

This is not all inclusive to every fever, and as always you know your child best. Stick with your gut feeling and always take them in if you feel that you need to. Most fevers are very treatable at home, and you can usually wait until the fever breaks. You have the confidence and power within yourself!

Have a wonderful day,

Kara J

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