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NAN: When to Call the Doctor

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Sometimes parents and nannies aren’t quite sure what constitutes a visit to the doctor immediately and what can wait. Anytime you are concerned about a child’s condition take appropriate action and notify the parents or call for help.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that if a child has any of the following symptoms, the child’s doctor should be called to find out if he should be seen for urgent care: 

Vomiting and diarrhea that last for more than a few hours in a child of any age  

Rash, especially if there is also a fever  

Any cough or cold that does not get better in several days, or a cold that gets worse and is accompanied by a fever  

Cuts that might need stitches  

Limping or is not able to move an arm or leg  

Ear pain with fever, is unable to sleep or drink, is vomiting, has diarrhea or is acting ill  

Drainage from an ear  

Severe sore throat or problems swallowing  

Sharp or persistent pains in the abdomen or stomach  

Pain that gets worse or does not go away after several hours  

A rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher in a baby younger than 2 months  

Fever and repeated vomiting at the same time  

Blood in the urine  

Bloody diarrhea or diarrhea that will not go away  

Not drinking for more than 12 hours  

For the following conditions, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises a call to 911 for emergency care:

Bleeding that does not stop with direct pressure over the wound  

Suspected poisoning (Call the Poison Control line at 1-800-222-1222.)  

Seizures (rhythmic jerking and loss of consciousness)  

Trouble breathing  

Skin or lips that look blue, purple or gray  

Neck stiffness or rash with fever  

Head injury with loss of consciousness, confusion, vomiting or poor skin color  

Sudden lack of energy or is not able to move  

Unconsciousness or lack of response  

Acting strangely or becoming more withdrawn and less alert  

A cut or burn that is large, deep, or involves the head, chest, abdomen, hands, groin or face. 

 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: When to Call the Doctor