When Should You Take Your Child To The Pediatrician?
Kids get sick sometimes. And sometimes, they become injured. However, not every illness or injury requires a doctor's direct care. A mild cold can usually be treated at home with an NSAID and fluids. A skinned knee just needs some antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid. However, it is important to know when your child does need medical attention. Here are some key times you really should take your child to the pediatrician.
Their fever doesn't respond to a fever reducer.
If your child has a moderate fever, giving them a dose of ibuprofen will typically bring it under control. If the fever responds to the medication and your child doesn't have any other overly alarming symptoms, then you don't necessarily need to take them to the doctor. But if the fever does not come down with a dose of ibuprofen, your child should see the pediatrician. Sustained, high fevers can cause serious, long-term health problems, and there's also a good chance that the underlying condition causing this stubborn fever requires a doctor's diagnosis and care.
They have lower respiratory symptoms.
Upper respiratory symptoms, like sneezing and a runny nose, are usually just due to the common cold. But if your child has lower respiratory symptoms, like tightness in the chest, a cough, or chest congestion, then they should see the doctor. They may have bronchitis or pneumonia, both of which can be dangerous if not treated correctly. Or, if they don't have these conditions, they may be prone to developing them if they don't receive proper medications and care from the doctor soon.
They have an injury that's still painful a few hours later.
When a child seriously injures themselves, such as when they break a leg, you generally know it. But sometimes the severity of an injury is less obvious. For instance, a twisted ankle may be something that your child shakes off in 10 minutes, or it could be a serious ligament tear. A good rule of thumb here is to seek a doctor's care if your child's injury-related pain is not seriously reduced within a few hours. For example, if your child tripped and bumped their elbow at 10 am, and now at 2 pm they are still wincing and complaining about their arm, they likely need to see the pediatrician.
These are not the only situations in which your child should see the doctor. However, they are situations that often arise, prompting parents to seek care for their little ones. Contact a pediatric care clinic for more information.