Back to school germs, injuries and illnesses are on the horizon and it may be hard to determine when you should give your pediatrician a call. Susan Myzer, CPNP- PC, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner with Lovelace Medical Group, outlines the general guidelines of when to consult your pediatrician.
If you are concerned or worried about your child’s fever, always call your pediatrician or seek medical attention.
“I would say that the most frequent concern of parents is related to fevers,” Myzer explained. “A commonly held misconception is that a fever equals a serious illness that requires treatment. In fact, if you have a healthy child over the age of 12 weeks, fevers less than 104 F have a role in fighting infection. Fever itself is typically a symptom of a viral or bacterial infection.”
So when is it time to call your pediatrician about a fever?
Any fevers lasting more than four days or accompanied by a symptom such as a sore throat, unexplained rash, seizure, severe headache, burning with urination, abdominal pain or earache need to be evaluated.
Fevers over 100.4 F in an infant less than two to three months warrants immediate evaluation, according to Myzer.
Myzer also recommends parents not only keep a close eye on not only the fever, but the child’s behavior.
“I am more concerned about a lethargic infant or child who is not taking fluids than a playful child with a 104 F plus fever. If you believe that your child is eating and acting normally despite the fever, he or she does not need an emergent evaluation.”
A cough can go away as quickly as it comes on.
“For a persistent cough, especially if accompanied by a fever or other complaints, make an appointment with your pediatric provider. A viral cough can easily last two to three weeks,” Myzer said.
Ah, the joys of having a child with the stomach bug! For the stomach virus or gastroenteritis, consider your child contagious.
“No school or childcare until vomiting and diarrhea have resolved,” Myzer explained.
Myzer recommends parents stop all liquids and food for an hour after your child vomits. Infants should try sips of Pedialtye or breastmilk after an hour and toddlers should try diluted Gatorade, popsicles or Pedialtye. Older children should try water, Gatorade, popsicles or ginger ale.
“No solids until your child can hold down unlimited clear liquids.” If the vomiting persists, you should give your pediatrician a call.
According to Myzer, injuries that need immediate emergency room evaluation include cuts that will not stopping bleeding, falls that cause your child to pass out or immediately vomit, injuries that appear to have a deformity, any difficulty rousing your child, severe abdominal pain and testicular pain.
“If your child is refusing to use an arm or leg for more than a few hours, even if he or she is otherwise content, I would recommend a pediatric visit,” Myzer said.
When in doubt, always call your physician for guidance on seeking medical care for your child. Lovelace Medical Group is now offering pediatric services. Call 505.727.2727 to schedule a same day or next day appointments.