When To Call A Paediatrician!

When To Call A Paediatrician!

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably wrestled with the question more than once when your kid got sick: Should I call the doc? Whether your little one has a fever, cough, or tummy ache, the moment always arrives when you wonder if it’s time to get advice from a pro.

Rachel Bolton of Nashville, TN, got a lesson on when to make “the call” when she was 9 months into her new job: being a first-time mom. She checked on her son before turning in for the night and knew right away something wasn’t right.

“He was sound asleep, but he was burning up,” she says. “We took his temperature and it was 103 degrees — the highest it had ever been.”

Her first instinct was to call her pediatrician, but it was 11 p.m. Did she dare?
In a word: yes. Whether it’s for medicines, minor illnesses, injuries, even parenting advice, you should always feel free to call your pediatrician’s office.

“There’s all kinds of wonderful information — both in books and online,” says Robert Mendelson, MD, a pediatrician in Portland, OR, and a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics. “But when the time comes and you’re trying to decide, ‘Is my child sick enough to call the pediatrician for this information or that information?’ The answer is, always yes, you should.”

Pay attention to these key symptoms when you’re trying to decide if you should pick up the phone and get your pediatrician’s input.

Fever

Maybe the only thing more common than a fever in a kid is “fever phobia” in a parent. The tendency to freak out when your child’s temperature spikes is normal, but it’s important to remember that a fever isn’t necessarily bad.

“Fever is an ally, not an enemy,” Mendelson says. “When a child gets an infection — and the majority of infections in children are from viruses for which there is really no specific treatment in most cases — his body temperature goes up so that it can more effectively fight the viral infection. That’s a good thing.”

But there are times you should call your pediatrician if your child has a fever:

Your baby is under the age of 2 or 3 months. Get in touch with the doctor if he has any fever at all, even a temperature as low as 100.4 degrees.

“Because they have a less-mature immune system, an infection in a child that young can be a sign of something more serious,” such as bacterial meningitis or pneumonia, Mendelson says.

Your baby is older than 3 months and also has other symptoms. If he’s weak or vomiting in addition to a high temperature, check with the pediatrician. Same goes if his fever lasts for more than 3 days, Mendelson says.

Your child has a high fever. The American Academy of Pediatrics says to call your pediatrician right away if your child’s temperature repeatedly goes above 104 degrees. That’s especially important if he has other symptoms, such as a rash, trouble breathing, trouble waking, persistent vomiting, or diarrhea.

When you do call your doctor, be prepared to answer these questions:

What’s your child’s temperature?
When did you last take it?
How long has he had the fever?
Does he have any other symptoms?
Kimberly Goad (Webmd).

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Femi Oshin
Femi Oshin 188 posts

Femi Oshin is a publisher at Nigeriansinsouthafrica.ca.za and Producer /Presenter of Agogo Ayo on Africa Magic Yoruba.

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