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When Should Your Child see the Doctor

Parenthood is the ultimate guessing game: when to wait and when to act? Are they hungry or tired? Are they sick or grouchy? What should you do? But without question, the most important question we have to ask ourselves is, is our child okay? A lot of the most common illnesses such as the stomach flu or the common cold are easily treated at home. But what happens when you suspect that your child is getting worse and you don’t know what to do? Here is a list of what to look for when assessing your child.

Signs Your Child Should See a Doctor

Many illnesses, especially viruses, can be treated at home through lots of rest and plenty of fluids. However, there are times that simple colds or flus can get out of hand, especially in our child’s developing immune system. So when should you call the doctor?

Signs You Should Take your Child to the Emergency

A visit to the hospital often indicates an emergency, but can also be necessary if you feel your child cannot wait until the morning for antibiotics or medical attention and no walk-in clinics are available. If your child does not meet the criteria but at any time you feel uncertain or concerned, you should bring them in immediately. Doctor’s and nurses are very used to parent’s bringing their children in just to “make sure” everything is okay. It is always better to be safe than sorry. However, if your child is showing any of the signs or symptoms below, you should take them in immediately.

Signs and Symptoms to call 911 Immediately

There are situations where a child simply cannot wait to drive to the hospital, they need medical attention right now. Ambulance attendants are well prepared to deal with emergencies both at your house and during the trip to the hospital. If ever you are in doubt, please call them immediately, in an emergency situation you will always be glad you did.

In most situations, it is safe to drive your child to the hospital yourself or even wait to see the doctor the next day. But no matter what the situation, don’t feel embarrassed if you over-reacted. Parenting is a learning experience and you will know better for next time. If there is ever an instance where you disagree with the doctor (aka they send you home and you feel your child needs medical attention), I strongly urge you to push your case. You are your child’s only advocate. Trust your instincts and request that steps be taken on your child’s behalf.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Spooner. All rights reserved.
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