When (and When Not) to Call Your Pediatrician
Know Your Baby
Whoever is in charge of your child should know your baby, and
some other important basic facts:
- What is the baby's age?
- What is the baby's current weight?
- What is the medical history of this particular child?
- Do you have insurance coverage?
- Which hospitals/emergency rooms does your insurance cover?
- Where are these facilities located?
- Important Phone Numbers. [Like Poison-Control, your
Pharmacy, and 9-1-1.]
Observe Your Child
I understand that it can be difficult to know which
symptoms are important enough to warrant an immediate
call to your doctor's office; This is a rough guide that
may help you determine when to seek professional medical
help. This list is not comprehensive,
and if in doubt, you should always err
on the side of safety, and get your child to a doctor.
criterion for determining when a child should be taken to
the doctor are the following factors:
- Is there a pattern? Does the
pattern seem normal to you? Is the problem
bothering you? or the child?
- Is the problem persistent?
Does it seem that the problem won't go away?
- Is the ailment progressing?
Are the symptoms getting worse? Are they becoming
more frequent? Is the illness causing loss of
appetite, diarrhea, or dehydration? If so,
contact a physician immediately.
Trust Your Instincts
is no magic way to know if a child is sick enough to be
taken to the doctor. The key is to know your child and
how he or she behaves when sick and when normal.
should know your child better than anyone else. If you
feel something is wrong, call the doctor. If you think
it's an emergency, go to the emergency room. Although we
have priveliges in most area hospitals, we do not endorse
any particular one.
Reasons to Call Your
- Difficulty breathing or
laborful respiration, such as gagging, croup,
persistent cough, or wheezing.
- A fever that is lasting more
than 48 hours.
- A fever is defined as an
axillary temperature greater than 100.4 F degrees
OR greater than 99.5 F degrees for a child under 2
months of age.
- Persistent abdominal pain.
- Persistent vomiting, nausea,
diarrhea or signs of dehydration.
- Refusal to eat and drink.
- Stiff neck where the child
cannot bend the neck forward to the chest.
- Pain when urinating, or blood
- Other Non-Emergency physical
The information on drpaola.com is for
general educational purposes only and should
not be considered to be medical
advice for your particular case
. It is in no way
meant to replace the advice of the
licensed physician who cares for your
child. Any and all medical information
contained herein is not complete without
a comprehensive physical examination;
which is not possible without a visit to