Today host Karl Stefanovich made an emotional appeal to parents after a “really scary” trip to the hospital.
Today host Karl Stefanovich urged parents to be vigilant after a sudden health threat sent his little daughter to the hospital.
He spoke of a “really scary” ordeal on Friday morning while hosting Channel 9’s Today show, where he became emotional when he detailed how his one-year-old daughter Harper suddenly fell seriously ill.
Two days ago, the father of four said his baby had a “runny nose and cough” that quickly turned into a fever. She was put to bed, but she woke up with wheezing and difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat and a sharp rise in temperature.
Stefanovich and his wife Jasmine rushed their daughter to a therapist, but the baby’s condition worsened and she had to be rushed to the hospital.
While the breakfast show’s host praised the medical staff for their timely and “brilliant work,” he said he knew he wasn’t the only parent to go through this “common experience.”
“There were literally thousands of parents in similar situations,” he said.
“We were lucky that it wasn’t more serious and we were lucky that we had good people around her.”
Royal Children’s Hospital pediatrician Margie Dunchin agreed it was a “familiar story”.
“After the last two years have been so hard on parents due to Covid, now we are seeing just a huge increase in viral respiratory infections in children,” she said.
The president of the Australian Medical Association of New South Wales, Michael Bonning, said the sharp increase in cases could be attributed to a lack of exposure to respiratory viruses and influenza.
“We know that for infants and toddlers who may not have been exposed to (respiratory viruses and influenza) at all in the past two years, this first exposure can be quite severe,” he said.
“We know the flu is a serious illness in children under the age of five.”
Children under the age of five are one of the age groups most at risk of contracting the potentially “life-threatening” flu, according to the WHO. recent report.
“They are one of our priority groups for immunization,” said Dr. Bonning.
“This is something we want to encourage all parents to think about, especially at a time when there is an outbreak of influenza vaccination across the country.”
Dr Danchin said there was a spike in children in emergency rooms, 20 percent of whom needed hospitalization.
Stefanvik admitted he “felt guilty” about not taking Harper straight to the hospital, but Dr. Danchin said a therapist is the best option for parents who might otherwise have to wait up to eight hours in “really overburdened” emergency department.
She said children with mild symptoms should see a doctor, but urged parents to go to the hospital right away if their child has trouble breathing, blue lips, signs of dehydration and lethargy.
Parents should assess their child’s breathing by looking at the depression in the lower neck and around the ribs to see if he is breathing faster than usual or having difficulty breathing.
Dr. Bonning urged parents to seek professional advice as soon as possible, as a child’s condition can change very quickly.
“Your therapist is often a really nice person to talk to early on when you have a fever and runny nose and just want to talk to someone and get advice,” he said.
He said knowing what to look out for in terms of triggers and warning signs will help parents prepare for the illness.
Stefanovich said he hopes his family’s experience will help other families facing similar challenges.
“There is nothing more humiliating than when one of your children falls and falls quickly when he is sick,” he said.