When to Take Your Child to a Doctor
Like all parents, you struggle when your child isn’t feeling well, and often struggle over a basic healthcare decision: knowing when to take your child to a doctor. While many illnesses pass with rest and time, knowing the symptoms that signal your little one may need treatment is a part of parenting.
Your child’s health shouldn’t be something to guess about, so if you ever have doubts seek advice from your pediatrician. With that said, know the signs that symptoms require medical attention.
- Fever: A fever isn’t necessarily cause for panic. It’s a symptom that your child is fighting off an infection. If your child’s fever tops 104 degrees or sustains for more than three days, it’s time to call your pediatrician. That goes double when fevers are coupled with trouble walking, a rash or vomiting.
- Fever in Newborns: Babies under the age of four months should see a pediatrician if they have any fever at all.
- Cough: A cough is a symptom for colds, allergies and pulmonary problems, but it’s largely a rather benign symptom. Schedule a sick child visit if your child’s coughing spells are dry and last more than a minute, or are accompanied by wheezing, difficulty breathing or a fever. If the cough lasts more than a week, call your pediatrician.
- Discharge from Eyes: Little eyes normally get a little goopy over the night, and watery eyes are usually just a symptom of allergies. If your child’s eyes are stuck shut with a thick discharge or discharge doesn’t get better over the course of the day, she may have an ocular infection.
- Vomiting and Diarrhea: They’re common symptoms in children and often aren’t cause for concern. If your child’s digestive issues are so severe he can’t produce urine at least once every eight hours, he may need to be treated for dehydration. Other red flags include vomit or diarrhea that contains blood, stiff joints or an illness that doesn’t improve after five days.
The Youth Clinic’s Symptom Checker can help you sort out the severity of symptoms, and our Nurse Triage Line is available weekdays during business hours at (970) 267-6715 to help you know when to take your child to a doctor.