What should have been a totally exciting milestone in my oldest son's life, very nearly became a tragedy. This particular day, only a couple of days after his first birthday, we had braved the shops in the first week of winter and I was so excited to be buying Kai his first pair of proper walking shoes. He was recovering from a nasty ear infection, but he seemed to be on the mend, or at least I thought so ..... I could not have been more wrong!
We picked out his shoes and decided to have some lunch and pick up a few other things whilst we were there. Kai was getting a bit grizzly but no more really than most teething 12 month olds get. It was when I was in Woolies picking up some groceries that I first heard him cry. I was at the very back of the shop and he was up the front with my husband. You know when it's your child crying, I don't know how, but something primal kicks in and you just know.
I raced around grabbing what I needed thinking I had better hurry because my baby obviously needs a sleep, like NOW! As is always the case when you are in a hurry, the check out lines are huge, and as Kai was still screaming and my husband was giving me the look, I abandoned the groceries and joined them at the front of the store. It was at this point I realised my little boy was seriously burning up. Still convinced it was nothing to overly worry about, we felt we best just get him home and dose him up with some Panadol and let him rest.
By the time we got back to the car, he seemed to be dozing off and we figured he had just exhausted his poor little body with all the screaming and so we strapped him in and headed towards home.
About 15 minutes into the drive, I heard a strange noise from the back seat and I turned around to check on Kai. What I saw will haunt me forever. My little boy was fitting and frothing at the mouth and his eyes were rolling back in his head. My husband swerved across three lanes of traffic to pull over where we ripped him out of his chair. I held his fitting body in my arms and screamed at my husband to get us to the hospital. As we were speeding I pulled Kai's jumper off to try and cool him down and it was then I noticed his chest was covered in an awful purply speckly rash.
I remember running into the hospital holding his now limp little body and screaming for somebody, anybody to PLEASE help me.... And they came, and they did what the wonderful Doctors and nurses do for others every single day. They saved my little boys life.
Kai had Septicemia - one of the stages of bacterial meningitis which is caused by the pneumococcal bacteria which is spread via coughing and droplets in the air. The bacteria had made it's way into his bloodstream and was very quickly killing him. He was one of the lucky ones and he survived thanks to the brilliant Doctors, but he spent the next 18 months in and out of hospital with numerous complications from a completely whalloped immune system.
So yes if you cough on my children, I will punch you .... very hard .... most likely more than once.
The thing is many mild and serious illnesses can be avoided by good hygiene practices and common courtesy. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a lunch with a bunch of gorgeous bloggers. Our hosts were the fabulous people from Bisovon (Boehringer Ingelheim) and the theme of the luncheon was 'I Hate People Coughing on My Kids'. It could not have been a theme closer to my heart.
I don't get it - Some people are ignorant, or maybe some are just idiots, either way it is just damn rude to cough on anyone let alone kids.
Over lunch we discussed some of the 'Top Tips to Help Protect Your Kids from Impolite Coughers' including;
- Teach kids to keep their distance from people who are coughing - at least one metre to be safe.
- Avoid Sharing - in particular drink bottles, towels, pillows and eating utensils.
- Wash your hands - Simple but hellooo there are way too many out there that don't.
- Teach Others - Teach your kids to cough into the inside of their elbow rather than their hands, as germs on hands is one of the quickest ways to spread viruses and bacteria.
- Be Assertive - Seriously if someone coughs on you or your kids you have every right to say something.
Images courtesy of Kids Business
The formulas are also non drowsy and wont make your kids go all drunk and weird like some alcohol based medicines can.
If you want some more information and tips on how to protect your kids and teach them some great ways they can protect themselves, you can find it here or you can visit The I Hate People Coughing On My Head's Facebook Page.
There is also have a hilarious video your kids would love to see from The Fully Sick Rapper and you can watch it below.
Image courtesy of Kids Business
Birdy Num Num, Gemma from My Big Nutshell, Me & Lisa from Life As We Know It
Yes I was cuddling up to a Billy Blob cardboard cutout in the middle of The Rocks. Why? I have no idea! It was all fun and games until he tried to spread his germs on me!
Tell me - Have you ever had to slap someone for Coughing on you?
How would you handle the situation if it happened?