What Would You Call 2-1-1 for
Information technology’south 2 a.grand. Your infant is crying and you tin can’t soothe them. They have a fever and a stuffed nose. Practise y’all call the pediatrician, or do you look until morn?
New parenthood is full of uncertainty. When you’re a first-fourth dimension parent, it’due south easy to second-guess every decision you brand.
“It can be difficult sometimes to know when or when not to call,” says Katie Lockwood, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “I reassure parents to follow their instincts. If something doesn’t feel right or if they’re not sure if something is normal or non, pediatrician offices would rather you err on the side of calling us.”
A few key symptoms can be your guide as you decide whether to grab your phone and phone call your pediatrician.
How to handle a fever depends on your child’s age. In a baby nether 2 months one-time, a rectal temperature of 100.4 F or college is an emergency.
“Go straight to the ER,” advises Lockwood. “Sometimes babies can have a serious infection, and the but sign is a fever.” The hospital will practice a full workup that includes claret and urine tests, and sometimes a spinal tap.
In older children, the number on the thermometer is less telling than other clues. “Almost important is how the child is interim with the fever and how long they’ve had it,” Lockwood says. “If a child has a 101 [degree] fever but they’re really irritable, they won’t eat, they’re not acting like themselves, or they won’t cease crying, that’s concerning to me.” This rule applies for vaccinated children; in unvaccinated infants, most fevers should be seen by a doc correct away.
Iii days is usually the magic number for viral fevers to concluding, she says. Any fever that lasts longer deserves a call to your doctor. It may take turned into a bacterial infection like pneumonia.
Airsickness and Diarrhea
These symptoms normally signal a viral infection. On their ain, they’re nothing to worry about. But when they’re too intense, they can be a problem.
“The fundamental thing I’m concerned about is dehydration,” says Amy Guiot, Dr., an acquaintance professor in the Sectionalization of Hospital Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “If the child is crying, I want to see tears. If you don’t see tears, they’re headed toward getting dehydrated.”
Other signs of dehydration include:
- Less pee than usual — fewer than 6 moisture diapers per day in infants
- Dark urine
- Dry out, cracked lips and rima oris
- Sunken eyes
- Sunken soft spot on top of the head (in babies younger than 18 months)
Many tummy viruses that cause vomiting or diarrhea terminal 24 hours or less, Lockwood says. Telephone call your pediatrician if these symptoms last longer or your kid has a fever likewise. These are more likely signs of a bacterial infection that you need to go treated.
Another big warning sign is a scarlet or black color in the poop or vomit, or flecks that look like java grounds. These could be blood. That’s a medical emergency.
Colds and Other Respiratory Infections
Upper respiratory infections like colds are run-of-the-factory for kids, who become up to eight of them a twelvemonth. Typically they’re viral and they concluding virtually 10 days, Guiot says.
Kids may run a fever for the offset 3 days. “Then the fever starts going away and that clear nasal discharge is going to get thick, green, and yellowish. That only means those infection-fighting cells are called in to fight. Information technology doesn’t mean it’south a bacterial infection,” she says.
A fever that lasts longer than 3 days or symptoms that go worse need a look from your pediatrician. Your child may accept gotten an ear infection or other bacterial illness.
If at any point your child has to work harder to breathe, telephone call the doctor right away. Yous’ll find your child’s nostrils flare or their ribs suck in with each breath. They may make a funny noise or wheeze when they try to breathe.
A bluish color effectually the lips or nails means your child isn’t getting enough oxygen. Call 911 right away.
This is one of the toughest symptoms to effigy out. Rashes come in many forms and have a lot of possible causes.
A rash that doesn’t bother your child usually isn’t a reason to worry. Just if it doesn’t go away in a few days, phone call your doctor, Lockwood says. Rashes with a fever are a bigger worry because they could betoken an infection.
Other possible symptoms to tell your dr. about are:
- A rash that oozes or weeps
- A blistery or bubbly rash
- A rash that looks like a bull’s-middle or target
- Swollen bumps on the peel, along with trouble breathing or swelling of the face
- A rash on a child who looks sick or isn’t interim like themselves
These symptoms also call for a call to your pediatrician right away:
- Problem waking your kid
- Sharp or constant belly pain
- Burning when your child pees, or blood in their urine
- A constant need to pee
If your child’southward illness is mild plenty to expect until morning, keep a journal. Write a list of symptoms and questions for the pediatrician, Lockwood suggests. This will assistance guide your talk with the doctor the next morning.
When you call, have notes on manus so you lot can tell the nurse or dr. your child’southward:
- Medical weather
- History of shots
- Medicine types and doses — both prescribed and over-the-counter
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Children’due south Hospital of Philadelphia: “Signs of Respiratory Distress in Children.”
Cleveland Clinic: “Newborn Infant: When to Call the Doctor.”
FamilyDoctor.org: “Airsickness and diarrhea.”
Amy Guiot, Medico, associate professor, Division of Hospital Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Infirmary Medical Center.
Katie Lockwood, MD, pediatrician, Children’s Infirmary of Philadelphia.
Yale Medicine: “Fevers in Infants Under iii Months.”
What Would You Call 2-1-1 for