Knowing when to call the doctor

Hopefully your little one isn’t sick right now, but if they are, let’s jump right in to knowing who and when to call if something doesn’t seem right.  If you want to be a super on top of it mama, get started on the Sick Kiddo Boot Camp for 5 days of emails about the most common symptoms your kiddos might have and what you should do about them.  Just as a quick note, these recommendations are for MOST kiddos. Trust your mama instincts. Even if it isn’t something mentioned here, but your mama- sense tells you something is wrong, then definitely give someone a call.

Although it is scary, let’s get the really serious stuff out of the way first. These are the most serious, but also the most rare. If your child has any of these symptoms, you should call 911 right away.

  • Trouble breathing, turns blue, is limp
  • Any type of poisoning
  • Bleeding that you can not stop
  • A seizure
  • Won’t wake up
  • Isn’t moving or is very weak
  • Any other life threatening emergency

Phew! Glad we got those covered.  If you experience any of those symptoms with your child (or anyone else), your number one job is to stay as calm as you can and to call 911. Once you are on the phone with 911, they will walk you through other steps that you can take to keep your child safe.

Now let’s move on to the things that you are more likely to experience with your children. Not that the really scary things don’t happen….they can. And now you are prepared for them! But more than likely, you will experience at least one, if not many, of the symptoms on this next list.

  • Cough, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Changes in appetite/feeding
  • Rash
  • Dehydration
  • Ear drainage or pain
  • Redness or discharge from the eyes
  • Blood in vomit or poop
  • Fever
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Sleeping more than usual or hard to wake up
  • For newborn babies
    • Redness, funny smell, or discharge from umbilical cord or penis (if circumcised)
    • Yellow skin or eyes

Sometimes there are things you can do at home and other times it’s a good idea to give someone a call sooner rather than later. During the day, there is usually a nurse available at your child’s doctor’s office who you can talk to and ask questions. They will be able to look at your child’s medical history to let you know if its a good idea to come in for an appointment or if you can manage things at home.

Many doctors offices and even insurance companies also have 24 hour nurse triage phone numbers for after hours and weekends. It’s a good idea to find out if you have that resource available to you.

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