“Mom, I don’t feel good.” These words are enough to strike worry into the heart of any parent. Whether it’s a sore throat, stomachache or a skin rash, it’s hard not to worry when it comes to the health of your child. You want to do whatever you can to help them feel better ASAP.
Inevitably, the next thing that comes to mind, then, is should you make an appointment with your child’s doctor? "My recommendation for parents is simple," says Nicholas Bower, DO, regional medical director of ChoiceOne Urgent Care, a partner of Gwinnett Medical Center. "If you are ever concerned your child may need the expertise of a qualified medical provider, don't hesitate to bring them in to be seen."
In these situations, it’s difficult to know if your child just needs a little TLC, or if it’s time to seek the help of a professional. This is especially true because there is such a wide range of symptoms and conditions that vary from child-to-child and age-to-age. "That's why one of our core beliefs at ChoiceOne Urgent Care is that peace of mind is priceless," notes Dr. Bower. "When it comes to sick babies or children, a mantra of better safe than sorry is a good rule to live by."
For babies: When you should call
See a healthcare provider if your baby has:
- A fever (armpit temperature of 99°F (37.2°C) or higher, forehead (temporal artery) temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher)
- Trouble feeding or sucking or no interest in feeding
- Sleeping too much or too little or having trouble getting your baby to wake up
- Not moving much, or crying that is different than usual
- Vomiting or diarrhea for more than a few hours
- Changes in the baby's soft spot on the top of the head
- Trouble breathing
- Rash on the skin
- Skin that looks gray or blue or that is very pale
If your baby has any of the above warning signs or if you feel something isn't right, call his or her healthcare provider.
For children: When you should call
For infants and children older than 3 months, fever becomes less of a concern. You probably don't need to see a healthcare provider for a fever without other signs of illness.
See a healthcare provider if your child has:
- A fever (Armpit temperature of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher, forehead (temporal artery), or ear temperature of 102°F (38.9°C) or higher) that occurs after the child has become overheated from being in a hot room or car
- A fever in a child who has a weakened immune system from a health condition or medicine
- Seeing or hearing things that aren't really there (hallucinations)
- A seizure
- Stiffness of the neck, a really bad headache, ear pain, or pain in the stomach
- Trouble breathing
- Swollen or sore joints
If your child is not feeling well, but doesn't have any of the above warning signs, he or she will most likely feel better with some extra rest, healthy drinks and some additional cuddling. But if symptoms worsen or don't go away, or if your child isn't eating, playing, or drinking, call your child's healthcare provider.
And remember to always follow your parenting instinct. If you feel like something's wrong, you are probably right and should call a healthcare provider.
Convenient locations with even better care.
When it comes to health care for your child, don’t compromise. And with ChoiceOne Urgent Care, a partner of Gwinnett Medical Center, you don’t have to. You can receive convenient, personalized and comprehensive care for your child exactly when they need it without any of the hassle.
Whether your child has a fever, a stomach ache or even a broken bone, the dedicated team at ChoiceOne Urgent Care will ensure that you receive thorough care from the moment you walk through the door.