Practical Steps for When Your Child Becomes Sick (in Estonia)

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Matthias Vutt
Chief Marketing Officer

If your child becomes sick, it is normal to feel worried and helpless. However, there are many things you can do to help your child feel better and speed up their recovery.

Here are 5 practical steps you can follow to help take care of your sick kid:

Step 1: Remain Calm


This will help you think clearly and be more effective in taking care of your child.

It’s important to remain calm when your child is sick because if you’re anxious, they will pick up on that and become even more agitated. It’s difficult to do, but try your best to stay calm and present for your child.

They need you to be their rock right now.

Step 2: Assess Their Health


Rule of thumb: always call your child’s family doctor. If you don’t have one, read how to find an English-speaking Family doctor in Estonia.

If you cannot reach the doctor, don’t hesitate to take your child to the emergency room (better safe than sorry). However, suppose you think that a trip to the hospital is unnecessary and you cannot get in touch with your family doctor. In that case, you can use digital telehealth services like Salu to get an on-the-spot consultation with a licensed medical practitioner.

When to Call an Ambulance?


You must call an ambulance if the signs and symptoms of your unwell child are:

  • Drowsiness or unresponsiveness;
  • High-pitched, weak, or continuous crying;
  • Difficult or unusual breathing;
  • Skin is pale, mottled, or blue;
  • Seizures;
  • The soft spot on their head is bulging; or
  • Rashes that don’t fade after putting pressure on the skin.

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms immediately call 112 for emergency services.

Step 3: Treating Your Sick Child


After having a consultation with a medical professional, you’ll now understand how to treat your sick child. You can purchase over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, from any pharmacy (apteek) in Estonia. If your child becomes ill during the night and you want to find medicine to alleviate their symptoms, there are two 24h pharmacies you can visit in Tallinn:

  • Tõnismäe Südameapteek; and
  • Vikerlase Südameapteek.

Important: You should always consult a doctor or nurse before administering medication. Never give a child under the age of 18 aspirin, as this increases the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition.

Step 4: Getting Them Comfortable


Now that you have gotten in touch with a medical professional, here are some tips for making your child more comfortable and helping them to a speedy recovery:

  • Give them plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Offer them water, juice, or clear soups. Avoid giving them sugary drinks such as soda;
  • If your child is old enough, have them blow their nose often to remove mucus and help them breathe more easily;
  • Elevate your child’s head when lying down by placing a pillow under their shoulders as this will help relieve congestion; and
  • Encourage your child to rest and sleep as much as possible.

Step 5: Keep Other Children Safe


Keep your child away from other kids as much as possible to avoid spreading the illness. If you have other children in the house, make sure they wash their hands often and avoid sharing toys or other objects.

By following these simple steps, you can help your child recover from their illness more quickly and make them feel more comfortable.

What to Do if You Can’t Find a Family Doctor?


Whatever you do, it’s always important to talk to a medical professional about your child’s health.

But perhaps you’re an expat who’s just arrived in Estonia. Maybe you’re on holiday here or about to go on holiday and want to be prepared for any scenario.

It’s hard to follow Step 1 when you’re trying to find a doctor. Thankfully, in the digital era, you don’t have to go running from doctors to pharmacies and hospitals trying to find help.

Telehealthcare providers like Salu means you can sign in, consult a medical professional about your child’s condition, and in a matter of minutes, they can provide you with a solution such as:

  • Referrals;
  • Prescriptions;
  • Sick leave;
  • Offer vaccinations;
  • Organize health-related documentation;
  • Organize lab tests and analysis; and
  • So much more.

Taking Sick Leave for Your Child


In Estonia, sick leave is when an employee takes paid days off from work with authorization from a doctor due to incapacity for work. However, there are different certificates of temporary incapacity, which include care leave. A medical professional will open sick leave for you, so you can look after your child and still get paid. “Once you have a sick leave opened, please notify your employer of it so their accounting department can submit necessary papers to the Health Insurance Fund, so you actually get paid, as well.”

Salu medical professionals can provide you with sick leave, so you can focus on looking after your child when they’re feeling poorly.

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