A Little Peace of Mind
Evvie has been traveling with me for work and other various reasons since she was only a couple of months old. I flew with her at the risk of exposing her to the germs that come with being out in public and worse, on airplanes with their terrible track record for sharing communicable illnesses. I brought her because it would have been harder on her to be away from me all day and through the nights for days on end, whether or not I managed to save enough breast milk to hold her over until I returned. For me as her mother and she as my first priority, I would so much rather bring her along with me to things that I was obligated to attend-and many times wanted to attend because I love what I’m doing and I believe in it-than be away from her for even a few hours.
I am a nervous mom when traveling, but it’s not for no reason. When Zoe was four months old, we traveled to Lake Tahoe and stayed in a cabin during the winter for the first time. We didn’t realize it until the middle of the night, but she had developed a fever that spiked so high that it triggered febrile seizures. The emergency crews came and we ended up in the local tiny hospital as she received a lumbar puncture, catheter and 13 blood draws, finally determining a virus that could not be treated but that she eventually recovered from unscathed. Because of that experience, I have been incredibly diligent about managing fevers and being in tune with my children as much as possible. I am consistently surprised by the feelings of insecurity that plague me whenever my children start to feel ill. I expect to have more faith in myself as their mother to be able to help them through their sicknesses, without the Chicken Little complex constantly tapping me on the other shoulder. I fear the unknown of course, but we’ve only been through a few situations where things were beyond the realm of my parent tools. I’ve learned to always check to see if there’s a pediatric emergency room within the vicinity of our “home base” during travels, and I always bring an Emergency Travel Kit filled with pain relievers/fever reducers, Colic Calm, Healing Balm, saline mist, the Nose Frida, a clean wash rag, and at least two thermometers.
There are a lot of reasons that travel with children makes me nervous, but without question the part that I worry the most about is whether they will get sick while we are gone, and if I will be equipped to care for them away from home. Recently on a trip with Evvie to a conference in Southern California, she came down with a high fever for the first time in her short life. At just about five months old, it was so reminiscent of our experience with Zoe that I could barely concentrate on anything except my sweet, toasty little baby. Kinsa, maker of the “world’s smartest thermometer”, was actually at the conference as a sponsor, so I downloaded the app and recorded her temp for the following two days. This new technology not only tracks the degrees and time taken, but it also allows for notes on medications, symptoms and photographs for doctors. Kinsa just launched an Indiegogo campaign for the release of their newest device, the Smart Ear Thermometer with the following features that can be used on Android or iOS:
- Instant, 1 second temperature readings
- Comfortable to hold and use on a sleeping baby or squirmy toddler
- Easy to use and read
- Can be used on its own, or with the Kinsa app. The Kinsa app works with the thermometer wirelessly via Bluetooth
The accompanying app has a lot of great features as well:
- Remembers for you – the Kinsa app records fever, symptoms, medications, notes for each child on your phone so you don’t have to. Keep track for yourself, another caregiver, or doctor.
- Guidance – in-app knowledge from medical experts that guides parents on when to take extra precaution or head straight to a doctor
- Accounts – Any parent or caregiver can see a child’s history and symptoms on their separate phones
- Kinsa’s Groups feature even shows common illnesses circulating nearby.
Not only does the Kinsa technology bring peace of mind to me while I’m at home, but there is only a small device to remember to carry with me when I travel and I have all the notes already stored in my phone from the last time. On the chance that our babysitter is with any of my children and happen to come down with something, she also has all the info she could possibly need: Four profiles, one for each child with their history and medications used, plus the option to quickly email our doctor in case she can’t get ahold of me or Justin.
I don’t often travel without my children, but when I do for work or otherwise, the first thing I do is make sure whoever is caring for them is as well equipped as possible. For the times that we are traveling together, I have an easy and reliable devise to help me understand what is going on with my children, especially when they cannot tell me themselves. I am constantly impressed by new technology, but this is something that I not only quickly and easily implemented myself but it’s now something that I always have in my parent arsenal. I personally can’t wait for the Kinsa Ear Thermometer to arrive, as it’s as non-invasive/intrusive as possible, even for a wiggly one year old. I feel confident being able to trust this devise, and I know that I’ll always have my phone on me stored with the information I need in case we run into another scary fever situation.