Today presenter Karl Stefanovic presents emotional plea after hospital fear

Today, host Karl Stefanovic has urged parents to be vigilant after sudden health anxiety sent his young daughter to the hospital.

He opened up Friday morning about the “really scary” ordeal while hosting Channel 9’s Today show. He got emotional when he told of how suddenly his one-year-old daughter Harper became seriously ill.

Today presenter Karl Stefanovic presents emotional plea after hospital fear

Two days ago, the father of four said his toddler was “snoring and coughing” that quickly developed into a fever. She was put to sleep but woke up with wheezing, difficult breathing, a pounding heartbeat, and a rising temperature.

Camera icon Today’s presenter said he was “very concerned” about his young daughter. Credit: Included

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

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

“There were 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.”

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

“Having been so hard for parents with Covid for the past two years, we are now only seeing a massive increase in viral respiratory infections for children,” she said.

Michael Bonning, president of the Australian Medical Association, said the dramatic increase could be due to a lack of exposure to respiratory viruses and flu.

“We know that for infants and toddlers who have not been exposed to (respiratory viruses and flu) in the past two years, this initial exposure can be quite severe,” he said.

“We know the flu is a serious illness in children under five.”

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

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

“That’s something we want to encourage all parents to think about, especially now that there’s a bit of a flash for flu vaccination across the country.”

Dr. Danchin said emergency departments had a spike in sick children, 20 percent of whom had to be hospitalized.

Camera icon Dr. Margie Danchin advised parents about checking for severe symptoms. Jason Sammon Credit: News Corp Australia

Stefanovic admitted he felt “guilty” for not taking Harper directly to the hospital. Still, Dr. Danchin said a GP was the best option for parents who might otherwise have to wait eight hours in the “overwhelmed” emergency department.

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

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

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

“Your GP is often a good person to have that conversation with when it’s a fever and runny nose, and you just want to talk to someone and get advice,” he said.

Camera icon Jasmine and Karl Stefanovic rushed their daughter Harper to the hospital during the health crisis. Credit: Included

He said it would help parents prepare for the disease if they knew what to look for regarding triggers and warning signs.

Stefanovic hoped sharing his family’s experience would help other families facing similar circumstances.

“There’s nothing more humiliating than when one of your kids goes downstairs and goes down quickly when they’re sick,” he said.

Lori J. Kile
I love to write and create. I love photography, design, travel and art. I am a full time freelance writer and photographer.I am very excited to be creating new content and opportunities for my readers.