Sometimes it is difficult to judge which sign warrants a call to the doctor. You may be confused about which temperature is an indication of high fever, which level of tummy ache is a sign of a bug in the stomach, right? This is more crucial when it comes to taking care of your children’s health. Cuts, bruises, and flu are natural during their growing age. But as a parent, you should not ignore certain signs and symptoms in your child. They may need immediate medical attention. Below mentioned are the 9 most important ones.
1. High fever
Although fever is a natural means by which the immune system fights an infection, at times it needs medical attention. Body temperature equal to or more than 100.4 F is generally considered as fever and is a sign of an active immune system in the child. If your child with fever is eating and drinking like on any other day then skip the trip to these medications. Otherwise, you may cautiously give defense medicines of limited dose to reduce fever temporarily. However, these medicines do not fight the infection. If fever persists beyond 2 days in a child below 2 years or for more than 4 days in children above this age, then you should consult a doctor.
Usually, a headache is due to muscle constriction in the scalp and is not due to any brain-related problem. In general, children should not get a headache. If your child has a minor headache, then it can be treated with OTC (over-the-counter) pain killers. But if the pain is persistent and is affecting the normal activities of the child such as eating, playing, watching TV then call to the pediatrician (child’s specialist). If your child is getting a headache often, then it needs to be evaluated.
If a severe headache is present along with high fever, and your child is finding difficulty in even opening their eyes, then it could be a bigger problem. Immediately take your child to a pediatrician to rule out meningitis (brain disease) which is fatal. The accompanying symptoms include vomiting, rashes, & stiffness in the neck.
For an hour after your child vomits, do not give anything to drink. But after this time lag, you can give small sips of clear electrolyte solutions. Keep giving fluids in moderate amounts for every 15 minutes for at least 4 hours before giving any solid food. If the vomiting persists beyond 24 hours, it can lead to dehydration of your child. So seek immediate medical attention. Vomiting and fever may indicate urinary tract infection, appendicitis, or throat infection. If the vomiting is green colored or if there is a presence of blood, then immediate medical help is required, as it could be due to bowel constriction.
4. Abdominal pain
As kids get exposed to new diets, it is common for them to have stomach pain. The problem may be considered as major if the pain is severe and is present on the lower right side, and is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and tenderness when touched. It could be due to appendicitis, and the pain worsens over time.So, do visit a doctor if you find similar symptoms in your child.
5. Severe fatigue
If your child does not look to be that energetic which he/she usually is and if this is for a long stretch of time, then it may be a problem. Don’t account this symptom to any late night sleep. It can be due to conditions such as anemia, malabsorption or even depression. Get it confirmed from a doctor’s checkup. You may better leave your child, especially a teenager alone with the doctor so that they can discuss openly without feeling uncomfortable.
6. Breathing difficulty
A rapid breathing is common in children during fevers. If this is relieved with medications, then it’s nothing to be worried much about. But if a rapid breathing is present even in the absence of fever then you may have to take the child to a doctor. Breathing difficulty while playing or exercising if present together with a whistling sound during exhalation can be due to asthma. Take your child to the doctor if you notice these symptoms for evaluation.
7. Weight loss/gain
Slight fluctuations in the weight are common and can be considered normal. However, a dramatic and unexplained weight loss/gain in your child is something you need to be concerned about. Take your child as early as possible to the pediatrician.
8. Extensive rash
If your child has a rash confined to hand or feet alone, then you need not be too concerned about it. But if it is present all over the body, your child may need medical help. If the locally present red-colored rash turns white when pressed and turns back to red when released, then you need not worry much. If this doesn’t happen and if there is fever along with such rashes, then it could be a medical emergency such as sepsis or meningitis.
Hives is a medical emergency in which swelling of lips is present along with rashes. The child may also complain about difficulty in breathing which could be due to a more serious allergic reaction called the anaphylaxis which needs emergency care.
9. Extreme thirst
After several hours of playing, it is common for your child to feel thirsty. But if you observe that your child is not satiated in spite of drinking adequate amounts of water, you should take the child to a doctor for evaluation. It could be due to diabetes. Yes! Type 1 diabetes is possible in children below 20 years of age, and excessive thirst is one of the symptoms. Other associated symptoms include extreme urination, increased hunger, fatigue, and weight loss. If you see these symptoms together with thirst, then you need to immediately take your child to the doctor.
Children usually have symptoms during night times but do not worry. Most of the pediatricians are available at this time as they are pretty much aware of this fact about illnesses in children.
Do not be among those parents who take up the wait-and-watch approach when their children have medical issues. Do not think that you will be ridiculed for going to a hospital. Nothing wrong! It just reassures you of your child’s health. Will you be able to take it if something goes wrong for your negligence? Obviously no right! So chuck those thoughts from your brain. Take your child to the doctor as required, to prevent complications in the future.
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