Being a parent is an extremely difficult job, but it also incredibly rewarding. Watching your little one grow up is one of the greatest things a parent can experience. Unfortunately, chances are your child will get sick from time to time. This can become a great fear for many parents as illnesses in small children can be devastating. When their child does become sick, parents often struggle with wondering when to take their sick child to the doctor.
No parent should ever feel ashamed for seeking the advice of a medical professional if they have concerns about their kid’s health. Some emergencies occur when your pediatrician’s office hours are closed, yet you are still in need of assistance. Tots N Teens Pediatrics offers you an after-hours nurse advice hotline to help answer their questions and quell their concerns.
However, there are still some signs and symptoms that indicate when to take your sick child to the doctor over staying at home and waiting it out.
Fevers are often a solid indicator of an illness in a child. They are also quite common. However, just as common is “fever phobia” in parents. Parents tend to panic when their child’s body temperature rises, but it is important to remember that fevers are not inherently bad.
Fevers are your body’s way of helping your immune system fight off an illness. Your body temperature will rise to help fight off bacteria or viruses that make you sick. The way your child is acting can indicate how bad a fever maybe. If they are active and playing around, their fever may be less concerning. If they are complaining of other symptoms like aches or issues breathing, taking them to the doctor may be best.
Also, if your baby is under 3 months old and has a fever 100.4 degrees F or higher, take them to the doctor as soon as possible. You should also take your child to the doctor if their fever has lasted longer than three days with no sign of going down.
Rashes are fairly common in children, but that does not mean they always warrant a trip to the doctor. Most rashes are harmless and often clear up on their own or with the appropriate treatment. If it is a common rash many parents have seen, like eczema, they won’t need to be seen. However, you should take them to their doctor if the rash is unknown to you.
You should contact their pediatrician or even take them to the doctor if your child feels pain at the site of the rash. This may mean the rash has gone deep in the skin. Also, if the rash is bruise-like or doesn’t get better with time or treatment, a trip to the doctor may be in order.
It is not uncommon for children to have diarrhea or to vomit. There is no need to worry if this is a single incident. However, if they continue to vomit and experience diarrhea, then a pediatrician should be consulted. This may be a sign of dehydration, so giving them fluid may help.
More signs of dehydration may include dry mouth or tongue, infrequent urination, discolored urine, fever, crankiness, and sunken eyes or cheeks. If they experience any of these signs together, take them to a pediatrician.
If your child has been experiencing any form of breathing issue or respiratory problem, you should always take them to their pediatrician. Usually, the common cold does not warrant a doctor’s visit, but if symptoms persist longer than 10 days, take them to their physician.
For children 3 months and younger, you should contact your pediatrician immediately at the first sign of illness, since colds can quickly become something more serious like bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Stay alert for any wheezing, fast or labored breathing, noisy breathing, or any other abnormalities in your child’s breathing.
Having a sick child can be a stressful time for most parents. It is not uncommon for parents to freak out during these moments. However, it is important for you to stay as calm as possible. If you do have concerns about your child’s health after hours of operation, be sure to call our after-hours nurses hotline to seek guidance. Do not be afraid to bring your child into Tots N Teens Pediatrics if you believe their condition is serious.
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