6 Instances When Parents Should Call The Pediatrician

While most parents know that something like suffering a severe head injury is grounds for needing medical attention, there are many instances that can be a grey area.

A lot of new parents aren’t sure when a situation is serious enough to pick up the phone and call the pediatrician.  As a result, they run to the emergency room for every little bump and bruise.

However, you can avoid unnecessary visits to the hospital by knowing what specific cases call for a pediatrician and what can be handled on your own.   Take a look at some of the most common situations which require a call to your pediatrician. 

Persistent Cough

It’s not uncommon for kids to get runny noses and coughs several times a year. However, if your child’s cough continues for more than a week and doesn’t improve at all over the course of two weeks, then your pediatrician should step in.  It could be a sign of a serious respiratory condition which requires ongoing treatment. 

Breathing Issues

When a child is breathing normally, you should not hear any wheezing.   If you start to hear strange sounds, then it’s an indication that their breathing is off. Take note of whether they seem to be struggling to catch their breath and whether you can see the ribs retracting in and out. This is especially important in younger children since they can’t communicate what’s wrong.

Fever

Fever is incredibly common in children and isn’t always a bad thing. A fever is an indication that their body is fighting off whatever illness they have. However, if your child is up to 6 months old and has a temperature of over 100 degrees, it’s definitely time to call the doctor.

For children older than one, you should keep an eye on their behavior to determine whether it’s time to call the doctor.  An older child who has a fever but it is still being active may not necessarily need medical attention. However, if they’re showing signs of difficulty breathing a loss of appetite and unwillingness to sleep, then you should probably give your daughter a call. 

Consistent Irritability

Since younger children can’t fully express themselves, it’s essential to pay attention to their behavior. If they are always irritable and visibly uncomfortable, then you should see it as a sign that it may be time to call the doctor. 

Lethargy 

Unlike being tired, lethargy means your child’s energy is so low that they have difficulty waking up. If your child is in fact, to the point of being lethargic, they should be seen by a doctor right away since this is considered an emergency.  Just be careful to know the difference between a child who is being less active than usual and a child who is completely lethargic.