Serious Symptoms in Children: Signs not to Be Ignored

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Runny noses. Stomach aches. An itchy rash. These are a fewer of the emblematic ailments that hap successful children everywhere.

But what if thing much superior develops, similar a fever supra 103 degrees oregon a stiff neck? You whitethorn not cognize whether to unreserved to the exigency room, telephone the doctor, oregon simply hold it retired astatine home.

“If your kid looks precise anemic -- sick arsenic they've ever been -- the parents request to telephone their doc now,” says pediatrician Barton Schmitt, MD, who supervises the After Hours Call Center astatine the Children's Hospital successful Aurora, Colo., which takes calls for 590 pediatricians each night. “Of those calls, 20% are sent to the ER, 30% request to beryllium seen the adjacent time successful the office, and fractional tin beryllium safely cared for astatine home," Schmitt says.

Some parents whitethorn interest that their instinct to caput to the ER oregon urgent attraction session aft the pediatrician's bureau is closed volition beryllium questioned by the doc connected telephone if thing superior turns up, but it's mostly omniscient to spot your gut feeling.

“Some parents deliberation they shouldn't spell to the infirmary due to the fact that they'll beryllium ridiculed, but there's thing incorrect with an ER sojourn that results successful thing but reassurance,” says Alfred Sacchetti, MD, main of exigency medicine astatine Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center successful Camden, N.J., and spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians. “If thing happened, you wouldn't person been capable to unrecorded with it.”

Here are communal puerility symptoms that whitethorn warrant a sojourn to the doctor's office, 24-hour walk-in clinic, oregon exigency room. If you person a babe nether the property of 1, cheque WebMD's article connected erstwhile to instrumentality a babe to the doc oregon ER, due to the fact that the criteria are antithetic for babies than for older kids. However, with kids of immoderate age, don't hesitate to inquire a wellness attraction nonrecreational erstwhile you're successful doubt.

High Fever successful a Child Older Than 1

If your kid is flushed and hot, your archetypal instinct whitethorn beryllium to spot a doc arsenic rapidly arsenic possible, but this whitethorn not ever beryllium necessary.

“We perpetually effort to thatch parents not to look astatine the thermometer, but what kids' symptoms are and what they look like,” says Schmitt, who created the KidsDoc app for smartphones from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a triage strategy that helps parents fig retired however to dainty kids' symptoms.

A fever is portion of the body’s mode of defending itself against an infection. If a kid has a fever, it means that their immune strategy is working. A fever, by definition, is 100.4 F, taken rectally. You whitethorn privation to instrumentality a toddler’s somesthesia nether their arm, but beryllium definite to adhd 1 grade to the results, to get a much close number.

You tin springiness your kid medicine specified arsenic acetaminophen oregon ibuprofen (if the kid is much than 6 months old) to trim their fever. But beryllium definite that it's genuinely necessary, and support adjacent tabs connected the dosage of this oregon immoderate medication successful children, whether it's from a medicine oregon not. Remember, fever reducers don’t combat the corruption that's causing the fever, it conscionable reduces the fever temporarily.

A caller survey published successful the diary Pediatrics recovered that 1 successful 4 parents springiness their children fever-reducing medicine erstwhile their somesthesia is little than 100 F, but astir pediatricians don't urge treating a fever unless it's supra 101 F. And if your kid looks good and is eating and drinking, skip the travel to the ER; a precocious fever by itself doesn't ever request contiguous aesculapian attention.

“Most fevers successful a kid are not aesculapian emergencies and tin hold until the bureau opens to spot a doctor,” says AAP spokeswoman Ari Brown, MD, a pediatrician based successful Austin, Texas. She recommends that you bring your kid property 2 oregon older to the doc if they have a fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit oregon higher, if they look unwell, oregon if they have had a persistent fever for 4 oregon much days successful a enactment . A kid younger than 2 should beryllium seen by a doc wrong 48 hours of a fever.

Bad Headache

How tin you archer whether your child's headache is superior capable to warrant contiguous aesculapian attention, oregon if letting them skip schoolhouse and slumber it disconnected would help?

“Minor headaches spell distant with over-the-counter symptom relievers and/or rest,” Brown says. “Major headaches bash not.”

If your child's headache endures for respective hours -- oregon if the symptom is truthful aggravated that they can't eat, play, oregon adjacent bask their favourite TV amusement -- telephone the pediatrician.

“If it's terrible capable to incapacitate the child, it needs to beryllium evaluated now,” Schmitt says. “They cannot bash immoderate mean activities. All they tin bash is deliberation astir their pain.”

Headaches tin beryllium commonly caused by choky muscles successful the scalp, alternatively than a occupation related to the brain, but a headache with neurological symptoms (such arsenic confusion, blurred vision, oregon occupation walking) should beryllium evaluated by an exigency country doctor.

Headaches combined with fever, vomiting, confusion, rash, oregon stiff cervix should besides beryllium evaluated rapidly arsenic the kid could person a superior corruption oregon illness, specified arsenic meningitis, which is simply a aesculapian emergency.

If a kid gets headaches often, that needs to beryllium evaluated. Children mostly should not get headaches.

Widespread Rash

Don't beryllium excessively acrophobic astir a rash connected your child's limb oregon feet; they're mostly harmless. If the rash covers their entire body, though, analyse it to spot whether you should get aesculapian attention.

“If you interaction the reddish rash and it blanches oregon turns white, past you fto spell and it turns reddish again, you usually don't person to interest astir it,” Sacchetti says. “Most of the microorganism rashes and allergic reactions, including hives, volition bash that.”

A non-blanching rash -- tiny reddish oregon purple spots connected the tegument that don't alteration colour erstwhile you property connected them -- tin bespeak a aesculapian exigency specified arsenic meningitis oregon sepsis, peculiarly erstwhile accompanied by a fever. This benignant of rash tin besides look connected the look aft convulsive bouts of coughing oregon vomiting, truthful it's not ever a motion of thing serious, particularly if it's conscionable successful 1 area.

To beryllium safe, immoderate clip your kid has tiny reddish oregon purple non-blanching dots look connected a wide area, it's champion to question exigency attraction astatine once, to regularisation retired a much superior condition.

Another wide rash which tin beryllium a aesculapian exigency are hives which look with articulator swelling. Hives should beryllium instantly treated with diphenyhadramine (Benadryl). If determination is articulator oregon facial swelling, the kid indispensable spot a doctor. If your child's breathing is labored oregon your kid complains astir trouble breathing, telephone 911 immediately. These symptoms suggest an anaphylactic reaction, which is simply a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction.

Severe Stomach Bug

When your kid has nutrient poisoning oregon gastroenteritis (the alleged “stomach flu," though it has thing to bash with influenza), show however often they're throwing up oregon having diarrhea.

Vomiting and diarrhea tin pb to dehydration. If it is mild dehydration, your doc whitethorn urge giving oral electrolyte solutions astatine home, though attraction depends successful portion connected the child's age. If your kid seems to beryllium getting worse (not urinating oregon acting sick), you should spot your doctor.

Vomiting 3 times successful an day whitethorn not pb to dehydration, but 8 bouts of diarrhea successful 8 hours astir apt will, arsenic volition a operation of vomiting with diarrhea. Dehydration needs to beryllium intimately monitored and sometimes needs exigency treatment.

“If they're losing it beneath and not capable to clasp the perfect fluid from above, they whitethorn request immoderate IV fluids oregon medicine medicine to halt the vomiting,” Schmitt says. “The younger kids are astatine the top hazard of dehydration.”

Stiff Neck

A stiff cervix tin bespeak meningitis, a existent aesculapian emergency, truthful parents whitethorn panic if they spot their kid lasting rigidly, not moving their necks, oregon refusing to look near oregon right. But a stiff cervix by itself is seldom thing much than sore muscles.

“Look astatine a constellation of symptoms, not conscionable 1 successful isolation,” Brown says. “A stiff cervix unsocial mightiness mean you slept funny. Meningitis is simply a operation of fever with a stiff neck, airy sensitivity and headache.” Meningitis tin besides beryllium accompanied by vomiting and lethargy.

A stiff cervix with a fever mightiness beryllium arsenic elemental arsenic a tonsil inflammation oregon swollen lymph node, not meningitis; calling the pediatrician could easiness your fears. Of course, if trauma caused a wounded neck, that's a wide crushed to caput to the ER.