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Medical | Sick | Cold | Ear Infection | Fever | Middle of Night | Vomiting

Sick in the Middle of Night

It is inevitable at some point your child is going to wake up in the middle of night due to an illness. She may be crying inconsolably, congested, running a high fever, or vomiting. What do you do? Here is a list of some of things I've done to help my child and also ease my nerves.


Child's Doctor
I feel it is best to err on the side of caution and if you aren't sure if your child is sick enough to call the doctor to call anyway. I'm not saying I call my child's doctor if my son has a stuffy nose, I've actually only called twice in the middle of the night, once when he was crying inconsolably the entire night (the next day we found out he had an ear infection) and once when he was vomiting for several hours and started to vomit bile.

Both times my child ended up being fine but I'm glad I called. I trusted my mommy instinct that something was wrong and followed up with a medical professional. In addition to calling on those occasions I also did at least one of the following listed below, such as reading my baby books, checking on the internet, and calling a 24 hour nurse line.
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Drug Store Pharmacy
I've called my local CVS 24 hour pharmacy on many occasions. They may not know the medical history of my child but I can get general questions answered about medications. I also love our local compounded pharmacy contact and I have contacted him on occasions, usually about my son's reflux medication to find out what his other customers take for reflux.
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Insurance 24 Hour Nurse Line
I sometimes forget about my insurance's 24 hour nurse line. I believe most main health insurance carriers like AETNA and Blue Cross Blue Shield offer a free 24 hour nurse line for members. I recently called this line to discuss what is the best course of action to take for my son when he was continuously vomiting. I felt much better after my discussion with the nurse. It was a good alternative to calling the doctor back a second time as the doctor didn't seem concerned the first time we talked to him but I needed some additional reassurance.
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Baby Books
I frequently refer back to baby books for guidance. Two of my favorites are:

Please refer to the "Medical Resources" article for a full list of all of the resources I've come across.
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Check the Internet
I usually always do a search for my son's symptoms on the internet. The internet can be good and bad as there is a wealth of knowledge but you do not know what information is reputable or not. I also prefer going back to web sites that I've referred to in the past. Two of my favorites are:

You may also want to refer to the following web sites in addition to your child's pediatrician's site:

(To Top) Last updated:  May 2010