When Should You Take A Child To The Doctor?
It's the age-old parenting dilemma. Your child is sick, and you suspect it's more than a cold, but you're not sure whether to take them to the doctor. While it's always best to go with your intuition and do what you think is best, there are certain situations where a trip to the doctor or even A&E is recommended. Here are a few things to consider when you're deciding whether to book an appointment or simply treat the illness at home.
It can often be difficult to work out the severity of an illness in a child. This is because they can't always communicate how sick they are, so you may need to play detective and work out how serious their illness is. However, there are some symptoms that are serious and mean you should seek urgent medical attention. They include, but aren't limited to:
· High fever in babies – over 38c for babies under three months, or over 39c for a baby aged three to six months
· Floppiness or drowsiness
· Severe headaches or aversion to light
· Rashes that don't change colour when pressed with a glass
· Stiff neck – when combined with other symptoms such as fever or vomiting
· Dehydration – if your child is drinking but not passing urine for example
These are the kind of symptoms that it's important to get checked out right away. When your child has these sorts of symptoms, your first instinct will probably be to call 111 and get professional advice. However, if they are having a seizure or trouble breathing, then call 999 as it's a medical emergency at that point.
Another situation where you might be wondering whether to see a doctor is when your child can't seem to shake a certain illness. In certain seasons, it's quite common to get back to back illnesses, but when is it time to book a doctor's appointment? Again, it's often a case of using your intuition. You might decide to get online medical advice at https://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com or call 111 first to see if they recommend a visit to the GP. Children often bounce back quickly from things like coughs and colds, but if they haven't gotten better in a couple of weeks, or are showing worrying symptoms like wheezing, it's time to see a doctor.
Care at home
Many simple conditions can be taken care of at home, and it's a good idea to have some basic over the counter medications on hand for when illness strikes. As a parent, you'll no doubt have to deal with more than one sickness and diarrhoea outbreak a year, for example, and usually, that just means ensuring your child gets plenty of rest and fluids. However, things can change quickly, and if you have any concerns then you should get medical advice as soon as possible.
If you're a parent taking care of a sick child, you usually have intuition, that tells you whether it's serious or not. You know your child's usual behaviour and can judge what's normal for them. Therefore, if you have any concerns it's worth getting medical attention as soon as you can, so don't be embarrassed about seeking help when you feel it's needed.