Some emergencies are easy to recognize like bad burns, major bleeding or a seizure. Others can sometimes be overlooked. If your child has any of the following symptoms, call our office immediately.
Assess your child's soft spot when he or she is not crying and is in an upright position. If it is tense and bulging, this can be a sign of meningitis.
Once your child is old enough to walk, if he or she loses that ability, it can indicate an injury to the leg, or a joint irritation or infection.
Dehydration means that your child's bodily fluids are low. It usually occurs after severe vomiting or diarrhea. Suspect dehydration if your child has not urinated in 8 to 12 hours, the inside of the mouth is dry, no tears are made with crying (in infant's older than 4 months), or if the soft spot is very sunken.
If your child is sick and develops profuse drooling, it can be a sign of a serious throat infection.
For infants less than 2 months old, any temp of 100.4 or higher, or less than 97.5, is cause for concern. In older infants and children, fever is less concerning, unless it is very high and does not improve by 1 to 2 degrees if treated with a fever reliever.
If your child has difficulty breathing, tight frequent cough, obvious wheezing, fast breathing or bluish lips, call the or 911 immediately.
A rash of purple or dark red spots can be a sign of a serious infection.
Fatigue during an illness is normal but it is NOT normal if your child won't smile, won't play, is too weak to cry, is floppy or is difficult to awaken.
If your child cries when touched or moved, this can be a sign of serious illness. Constant crying and inability to sleep can be signs of severe pain.
If your baby is less than 1 month old and is sick in any way, the problem could be serious.
This can also be a sign of meningitis.
If you press on your child's belly while he or she sits in your lap, you should be able to push in about an inch or so with your fingers in all parts of the belly without resistance. If your child pushes your hand away or screams, or if the belly feels hard, the condition could be serious.
The sudden onset of pain in the groin or bluish color of the scrotum can be from twisting (torsion) of the testicle. This requires emergency surgery.
Some content from this section is from Instructions For Pediatric Patients by Barton Schmitt.