When our kids fall sick, we often encounter the dilemma of whether to rush to the doctor or just let it run it’s course. In most cases, these symptoms do not call for a doctor's visit. However, there are some symptoms that we just cannot let pass because of the potential danger it poses. Below are 12 symptoms you just cannot ignore.
Fevers, in general, are not a major cause for worry and is just the body’s reaction to infections. They tend to subside within a few days or with some medication. However, it is a cause of worry when the fever is prolonged. It is also important to keep a watch on your child’s behavior when he has a fever. If he has difficulty in breathing or looks pale along with the fever, it is better to take a trip to the doctor’s clinic.
Headaches are caused due to multiple reasons like lack of sleep, hunger or vision problems. These problems can often be treated with an ibuprofen.However, when kids below the age of four get headaches, they should be taken to the doctor considering the vulnerability of their age. If your child wakes up abruptly with a headache or complains of constant, throbbing, unbearable pain, it is better to take him to the doctor to rule out any bacterial infections, meningitis or any head trauma.
Vomiting, usually a sign of the stomach flu, is often harmless and every child is bound to get this. However, when your child is unable to keep inside even small quantities of liquids without puking it out, you could be dealing with dehydration. This is usually coupled with sunken eyes, decreased urination and parched lips. In this case, it is better to go to the clinic and get it checked. Other cases of vomiting in infants less than 6 months old, prolonged vomiting or vomiting bile and blood could be extremely serious cases and definitely calls for a doctor's visit.
Like vomiting, diarrhea is also often the result of the stomach flu which will run it's course and is often benign. When diarrhea persists for a long period of time, or if blood is visible in stools, call your doctor and don't hesitate to tell him details. If your child experiences abdominal cramps or several stomach ache, rectal bleeding or reduced appetite, talk to your pediatrician about it.
Rashes are common and are often a result of an allergic reaction. It is key that parents keep a lookout for rashes or any other allergic reactions. If the rashes don't go in a couple of days, visit the clinic. If along with the rash, your child experiences difficulty breathing or a swollen tongue, lips or face, he could be in an anaphylactic shock and needs to be rushed to the hospital. If the rash appears to be circular, it could be Lyme’s disease and should be checked immediately.
6. Discomfort while urinating
This is a symptom almost exclusively to girls, however, boys also have them. If your daughter reports pain while urinating or an increased urge to urinate, it is most likely a UTI (urinary tract infection). This can be treated easily. Hence, it is important to visit the doctor when she reports any such symptoms before it becomes something more serious.
7. Swollen joints
Children, like adults, often experience aches in their joints caused by strenuous activities. However, if you noticed any swelling or if the pain is so bad that he can't move his joints, it's best to get it evaluated by a doctor to rule out other severe problems like sepsis or rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Stiffness in neck
Stiffness in the neck can be subtle or increase in severity over time. Parents need to watch out for this as it could be a symptom of bacterial meningitis. This is an extremely dangerous infection and the child needs to be monitored by a doctor to rule this out.
9. Abrupt stomach ache
If your child experiences a sudden stomach ache especially on the lower right abdomen, it could be appendicitis. This is often accompanied by general abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting. If your child is under 4 years of age, and experiences stomach ache that “comes and goes” every 20 minutes or so it could a serious case of intussusception. Here, one part of the intestine slides into the other, causing pain. If this is coupled with vomiting, fever, blood in the stools or “jelly-like stools”, it needs to be checked by your pediatrician immediately.
10. Blue lips
Blue lips or discoloration around the mouth coupled with taking deep breaths so much so that you can see the child sucking in his chest and abdomen. This is often caused by an asthma attack, choking or allergic reactions. Breathing problems are often scary and it's always best to get it checked. A good trick to know whether to visit the clinic is to check his respiratory rate. Count each breath taken in for 30 seconds and then multiply that by two. A normal rate should be less than 60 for newborns; less than 40 for babies under 1 year; less than 30 for 1 to 3-year-olds; and less than 24 for 4 to 10 year-olds.
11. Vomiting after a fall
Children fall all the time! So, how do you know when it requires a visit to the clinic. A good tip is that when a child falls, especially on his head, look for signs of vomiting. If he vomits within 24 hours of the fall, it is most likely a concussion and requires a visit to the doctor.
12. Excessive bleeding
As mentioned earlier, children fall a lot and often hurt and bruise themselves while doing so. If the wound does not stop bleeding after applying pressure on it for a long time or if the wound is a deep cut, it is better to visit the doctor to dress the wound properly and get stitches if required to avoid potential infections.