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Sick Child Visits
If you feel that your child needs to be seen in our office because of an illness, please call as early as possible in the day. We will do our best to accommodate you.
Common Childhood Illnesses and When to Go to the Doctor
HEENT (Head, eyes, ears, neck, throat)
- Eye injury – go to ER
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis) needs drops, call during office hours unless eyelid is swollen
- Tear duct blockage - massage
- Upper respiratory infections (colds) – Viral, children average a cold every 2 months, more if in daycare. No treatment effective. Call if more than 7 days with high fever, bad cough or wheezing. Color of drainage doesn't matter.
- Sinus infection – Usually follows a cold, drainage green or brown, older children complain of headache.Treat with saline spray, may need antibiotics.
- Ear ache – Caused by blockage of the Eustachian tube, may or may not be infection. Best if left untreated, may need treatment if high fever or severe pain.
- Head lice – treat with over the counter, call if doesn't respond
- Croup – Usually viral, caused by inflammation around the vocal cords. Seal bark cough, usually starts at night, tight breathing, difficult breating in. Treatment: steam shower, take outside, if bad go to ER or 911
- Bronchitis/bronchiolitis – Cough, often wet, often wheezy. Difficulty breathing out or in and out. Can be either viral or bacterial, needs to be seen.
- Treatment: May need nebulizer or inhaler, antibiotics.Worse in preemies
- Pneumonia – Wet cough, often appears very ill. Needs antibiotics, sometimes IV.
- Chest pain – Often is chest wall pain from coughing or inflammation but needs to be seen.
- Vomiting/diarrhea – Usually viral, occasionally food poisoning.Support for dehydration. No liquids for 20 minutes after vomiting, then sips. Aim to get in 1 oz/hour, more if diarrhea. If not keeping anything down call doctor for possible meds for vomiting, or go to ER for fluids if no urination for 6 hours or if there is blood in the stool.
- Abdominal Pain – If severe or localized especially Right Lower Quadrant (where the appendix is) go to ER
- Urinary – Pain or bleeding, needs to be seen. ER if severe.
- Worms – Call during office hours for medicine
- Most need to be seen.
- Stiff neck, severe headache, difficulty walking, weakness on one side need to go to ER
- Sprains – Usually at a joint, caused by a ligament or tendon pull, swelling and pain result. Treatment: RICE (rest/ ice / compression.) Wrap with ace bandage, elevation (raise above the heart.) Needs to be seen, usually not an ER visit.
- Breaks – Often not at a joint, if distorted or very painful got to ER. Call 991 if severe pain with movement.
- Jaundice –may need to be seen (older child always needs to be seen)
- Lacerations (cuts) – Need to be stitched if the edges don't come together. Go to ER / walk-in if not able to be seen within 6 hours
- Heat or chemicals – if blistering, needs to be seen. If severe or widespread go to ER
- Rash – Excema- allergic, may need prescription cream
- Baby acne – goes away on its own
- Red rashes - Often viral, call office during business hours
- Fever – Infant less than 2 months go to ER. Older child, no other worrisome symptoms, give Tylenol per package insert. Be accurate. Ibuprofen may work better for higher fever in child over 6 months.
- Go to ER or call doctor: If you just feel like you need to. Don't ignore your instincts.