Children are often susceptible to different ailments because they are still building their immune system. Throughout childhood, children may show different kinds of symptoms from time to time. To parents, this can be worrying. Often, it’s hard to tell when to see your pediatrician and when to stay home with your child. In some cases, parents rush their children to the emergency room for trivial issues that aren’t “real” emergencies. Instead of running to the ER, you can often refer to your pediatrician and get their professional input about what steps to take.
Taking your child to the pediatrician is often a good call, but it’s not necessary at all times. Being informed on when to take child to doctor can undoubtedly save you time while ensuring that your child is OK. It can be difficult, but it’s important not to overreact to every symptom of an illness that shows up in your child. Knowing when to take action will keep your child safe and help you worry less about their health.
When Should I Take My Baby to the Doctor?
If you’re wondering when to see pediatrician, you must first know how to spot symptoms of an illness. Of course, one of the most common symptoms is fever. Experts consider body temperatures above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit a fever. Fevers occur frequently in babies, but they aren’t typically a cause for alarm. They do, however, signal other underlying issues. Fever is a typical response to mild infections in children.
When to Call Pediatrician for Fever?
Depending on your child’s age, different levels of fever should prompt you to see a doctor. Parents with newborn babies under 2 months old should take their infants to a doctor whenever they notice a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The immune systems of newborns are less mature, so an infection could indicate that something serious is going on.
For older babies, there is a bit more wiggle room. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you see a doctor when children between 3 months and 6 months have rectal temperatures of 101 degrees F or higher. In those who have surpassed 6 months of age, a rectal temperature of 103 degrees F is a cause for concern.
In addition, if you notice a persistent fever that lasts longer than three days, you should take your child to a pediatrician for a checkup. It’s also important to pay attention to other accompanying symptoms such as severe headaches, coughs, diarrhea, and nausea. In addition to knowing when to see a pediatrician, it’s good to understand how to best relieve fever symptoms.
First, dress your child in lightweight clothing so that the body can dissipate as much heat as possible. If the room is too hot, turning on the fan will help. Plus, consider giving your child fever-reducing medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Before you do that, however, call your doctor for instructions.
Understanding the Common Cold and Flu
The common cold and flu signify viral infections. While these infections affect both adults and children, they tend to last longer and are more frequent in kids because of their still-developing immune systems that are not ready to tackle common infections. Some signs and symptoms of the common cold include runny nose, coughs, headaches, mild sore throat, loss of appetite, and mild fever.
There are several ways to ease symptoms and help your child feel better. While they’re ill, make sure that your child rests well. In addition to rest, liquids are needed to help avoid dehydration. Also, ensure that your child is comfortable by regularly clearing the runny nose and placing a cool-mist humidifier nearby.
When Should I Call the Pediatrician for Cold or Flu?
The above-mentioned symptoms can be harmless, but under certain circumstances, you should visit a doctor. Take your child to the doctor when you notice extreme fever, severe coughing, skin rashes, earaches, irritability, breathing difficulties, or persistence of the common cold or flu. If your child is 6 months or older, a flu vaccine per year is recommended.
Understanding Nausea and Vomiting
Vomiting and nausea often show up simultaneously in children. Fortunately, these issues don’t typically result from serious problems. One of the causes of vomiting in children is gastroenteritis, an infection of the digestive tract. It’s commonly known as the tummy bug or stomach flu.
A child with a tummy bug may get better within a day or two. Diarrhea or fever often accompanies the tummy bug. Vomiting in babies can also be caused by reflux after breastfeeding. Even though vomiting is quite common among babies and young children, many people ask themselves, “When should I take my baby to the doctor?”
When to Take a Sick Child to Doctor
In most cases, there’s nothing to worry about when your child vomits, but persistent vomiting could be a sign of other serious issues that need to be addressed by a doctor. If vomiting lasts more than a day or two, there’s a high chance that it’s an infection. Frequent vomiting lasting more than a day can also lead to other issues, namely dehydration.
Other than addressing long-lasting vomiting, it’s important to go and see a pediatrician if you notice other accompanying signs and symptoms. This includes forceful coughing, fever, frequent forceful vomiting, or dry diapers after six hours. Seek immediate attention if you notice inactivity, confusion, rapid breathing, or severe abdominal pain coupled with diarrhea. A pediatrician can check for underlying issues and provide fluids for dehydration if needed.
Understanding Skin Rash in Babies and Children
Rashes are common in children due to their sensitive skin. Rashes in childhood can be caused by viral infections, fungal infections, and allergies. Others may be a sign of serious issues that need to be checked by a pediatrician. The typical nature of rashes in childhood can be troubling to a parent. Understanding the causes of rashes in your baby will help you know when to call the pediatrician. There are different types of rashes in children, but, fortunately, most of these are benign. So, how do you know when to call the pediatrician?
It’s time to call the pediatrician when your baby has a fever along with a rash. Also call if your child has deep rashes that appear in skin creases or oozy rashes that are red, swollen, or wet. You may notice hives and peeling of rashes, especially on the palms of a child’s hands or the soles of their feet. These types of skin conditions should be looked at by a doctor. If you notice any other types of unusual rashes, it’s advisable to consult a pediatrician. He or she will be able to identify the cause and offer solutions.
Childhood is often riddled with questions, concerns and sticky situations. As a parent, it’s beneficial to know when to take your sick child to the doctor. The TopLine MD Alliance network of affiliated providers includes pediatricians focused on various specialties. Find a provider today and make an appointment with one of our pediatricians.