As much as I love peanuts, my body doesn’t seem to agree with me. I remember one day when I was nursing my then 1-year old daughter, I had just licked a peanut butter-filled cookie (the daredevil that I am) not knowing that my kid is actually more repellant to the nutty goodness! Noticing that she stopped feeding and getting all scratchy and fussy, I had to observe for a bit. But when her pinkish lips turned gray – oh boy, that was it: off to the ER I went in my breastmilk-soaked pambahay!
There’s nothing that gives parents an adrenaline rush than a sick child – especially when the symptoms he or she exhibits doesn’t feel “normal” for a health condition we usually simply shrug off. Fever, coughs, colds, and tummy aches? We can definitely handle that. But how do we know when these seemingly common signs are pointing to areas of concern that require immediate medical attention?
Although we have this natural instinct about our child’s physical condition, we can’t always leave things up to our gut feel. Here are some of the things to look out for – signs when to bring the little one to the doctor or the nearest emergency room:
An appointment to your pediatrician is in order when…
- A baby under 2 to 3 months old gets a fever. Because the immune system is still premature at this age, a fever could mean serious infections such as pneumonia.
- A baby above 3 months old has fever accompanied with other symptoms. Weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and other causes of pain and discomfort may require a thorough check-up.
- There’s persistent vomiting or diarrhea. At any age, continuous puking and pooping leads to dehydration. There might be a need for your doctor to issue lab requests to identify the cause.
- A child older than 3 months has respiratory problems that don’t go away. This could mean coughs or colds lasting for more than a week accompanied by difficulty in breathing and ear pain or irritation.
- Rashes emerge. When your child seems to feel extra tired, with pain at the rash site, you may opt to get your doctor’s opinion – especially when the spots turn like bruises and don’t get better with topical creams.
- There’s peeing pain. Any sign of irritation or discomfort while going #1 could hint urinary tract infection (UTI). A doctor’s lab request for urinalysis may be in order.
Don’t hesitate to rush to the ER once you notice the following symptoms and situations:
- Head trauma;
- Accidents like falling from a significant height;
- Rashes that are wide-spread in the entire body;
- Red or purple rashes that do not disappear when pressure is added to the skin using your fingertips;
- High fever with convulsion;
- Fainting or losing consciousness;
- Breathing problems like shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, and chest pains;
- Profuse bleeding or bleeding that doesn’t stop with direct pressure;
- Bloody stools or vomit;
- Sudden confusion, disorientation, and other swift change in mental status;
- Sudden changes in vision; and
- Fever accompanied by headache and stiff neck.
You are in the position to best determine when to seek professional help when it comes to your child’s health. By staying calm and having presence of mind, you can trust that you can decide on the right solution and course of action at the most crucial time. And so what if it turns out that visiting the pedia or going to the ER were not necessary? Better sure than sorry!