When your child is sick, you are under stress. You want so much to help, but sometimes there is not much you can do. Above all , you want to make sure the illness isn’t so severe that the child is in danger. So when do you go to your pediatrician? When do you go to an emergency room? When do you stay at home and wait it out?
You can always call Dr. Fakih’s team for advice. You can ask questions about your child’s symptoms and the best course of treatment. Sometimes, Dr. Fakih may decide that she will have to see your child before she can answer your questions over the phone to analyze the symptoms.
Before you call, make sure you have this important information available.
- Temperature – Check for fever with a thermometer before calling.
- Symptoms – Write down the symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea so that you don’t forget anything. Write down when and for how long these symptoms have been going on.
- Medications – Be sure to mention any medications the child is taking – both prescription and over-the-counter.
If you are unable to call and need to decide where and when to have your child seen, here are some symptoms to watch out for.
These symptoms indicate that your child is quite ill and needs to be checked by a doctor within a few hours.
- Vomiting and diarrhea that just doesn’t stop. If your child is vomiting and not retaining any fluids, especially if diarrhea is present, then the chances of dehydration are very high and he or she needs to be seen that day.
- Skin lacerations can be confusing, but if the cut is deep or long or both, it probably needs stitches.
- Pain in the abdomen that lasts for hours, especially if it’s associated with vomiting or fever, needs to be evaluated that day.
- If the child refuses to move an arm or is limping, with or without a known injury, there could be a serious problem..
- If there is a severe sore throat, especially when the child refuses to swallow.
- A cold that doesn’t go away after several days or that gets worse, bringing on fever, is a reason to bring the child in.
- An earache that is not controlled with acetaminophen or ibuprofen should be seen, particularly when there is also a fever or drainage from the ear.
- Bloody urine is an indication of infection, although it can have other causes. The child needs to be seen immediately.
- Any fever (more than 100.4 rectal temperature) in a baby less than two months old is concerning. The baby needs to be evaluated that day.
These signs should warn you that your child needs to be taken to the hospital as quickly as possible and that calling 911 may not be a bad idea.
- Any injury to the head that causes loss of consciousness.
- A very stiff neck with fever and/or a rash.
- A cut with bleeding that won’t stop.
- Any difficulty breathing, such as rapid, shallow breathing, wheezing or other noisy breathing, inability to talk, lips that are becoming blue, gray skin.
- Large burns, especially on the face, hands, groin, or abdomen.
- Cuts that are deep and involve the abdomen, chest, face, hands or groin.
- Sudden change in behavior, becoming lethargic, not responding.
- Eye injuries.
- Possible poisoning.
- Fever and sore throat, but the child stops swallowing and is drooling continuously.
When is it safe to stay home and wait for the little one to get better?
- When your child has a runny nose and a cough for a few days, but is eating and acting normally.
- When there is vomiting with or without diarrhea, but the child is taking fluids well and responds to you normally.
Never hesitate to call Dr. Fakih’s team for advice. Always take the safest action for your child, whether that be bringing the child to the office, going to an urgent care facility or going to the emergency room. Children are precious. Watch over them carefully.
Dearborn Pediatric & Adolescent Medical Center
2547 Monroe St
Dearborn, MI 48124
Phone: (313) 791-8300
Fax: (313) 791-8302
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM
By Appointment Only