Health · June 24, 2022

Today host Karl Stefanovic made an emotional request after visiting the hospital with his daughter

Today host Karl Stefanovic made an emotional plea to parents after a “really scary” hospital stay.

Today host Karl Stefanovic has urged parents to be vigilant after a sudden health crisis took his young daughter to hospital.

He spoke about the “really scary” ordeal on Friday morning while hosting Channel 9’s Today show, where he became emotional as he detailed how his one-year-old daughter Harper suddenly became seriously ill.

Two days ago, the father-of-four said his toddler had a “cold and cough” that quickly developed into a fever. She was laid down to sleep but awoke with wheezing and difficulty breathing, a racing heartbeat and a rising temperature.

Stefanovic and his wife Jasmine took their daughter to the family doctor, but the toddler’s condition deteriorated dramatically and she had to be hospitalized.

While the breakfast show host praised the health workers for their timely and “brilliant work,” he said he knew he wasn’t the only parent to have had this “shared experience.”

“There were literally thousands of parents in similar situations,” he said.

“We’re lucky it wasn’t more serious and we were lucky we had good people around her.”

Royal Children’s Hospital pediatrician Margie Danchin agreed it was a “familiar story”.

“After the last two years with Covid have been so difficult for parents, all we’re seeing now is a huge spike in viral respiratory infections in children,” she said.

NSW Australian Medical Association President Michael Bonning said the dramatic increase could be attributed to a lack of exposure to respiratory viruses and the flu.

“We know that this first exposure can be quite severe for infants and young children who may not have been exposed at all (respiratory viruses and flu) in the past two years,” he said.

“We know that influenza is a serious illness in children under the age of five.”

According to a recent report, children under the age of five are among the age groups most at risk of contracting the potentially “life-threatening” flu.

“They are one of our priority groups for immunization,” said Dr. Bonning.

“That’s something we want all parents to think about, especially with some flu shot blitz going on across the country right now.”

dr Danchin said emergency rooms had seen a surge in sick children, 20 percent of whom required hospitalization.

Stefanvic admitted he “felt guilty” for not taking Harper straight to the hospital, but Dr. Danchin said a GP is the best option for parents who might otherwise have to wait up to eight hours in the “really overwhelmed” emergency room.

She said children with mild symptoms should see a doctor, but she urged parents to go straight to the hospital if their child has trouble breathing, blueness around the lips, signs of dehydration and listlessness.

Parents should assess their child’s breathing by looking at the indentation at the bottom of their neck and around their ribs to see if they are breathing faster than normal or are having trouble breathing.

dr Bonning urged parents to seek professional advice early, as a child’s condition can change very quickly.

“Your GP is often a really good person to have that discussion early on when there’s a fever and a runny nose and you just want to talk to someone and get advice,” he said.

He said knowing what to look for in terms of triggers and warning signs would help parents be prepared for the disease.

Stefanovic said he hoped sharing his family’s experiences would help other families struggling in similar conditions.

“There’s nothing more embarrassing than when one of your kids gets sick and falls down quickly,” he said.

Originally published as Today, host Karl Stefanovic makes emotional pleas after hospital scare