How to Determine if Your Child Needs to Go to the Doctor

Great tips to help you know when your child needs to go to the doctor!

When your child is sick or not acting the way he or she normally acts, it is very distressing for parents. You don’t want to ignore or miss something that is crucially important. There are important signs that can help you determine if your child needs to go to the doctor.

Here are a few of the more common reasons.

#1. High Fever

You should bring your child to their doctor if your child has a fever or high temperature that will not go away, especially if your child is less than a year old.

The normal body temperature is 98.5. A low-grade fever can be up to 100.0. A fever is your body’s way of trying to rid itself of a foreign invader. It may be bacteria, virus or other attacker.

A high-grade temperature is 101.0>. A high-grade temperature can be dangerous if it approaches 104.>.

Check your child’s temperature, if it is increased give Tylenol (according to your doctor’s direction). Check it again 30–45 minutes later to see if it is lowering.  If the fever continues to spike or go up after the medicine wears off, you need to go to the doctor.

#2. Refusal to eat or drink

If your child is refusing to eat or drink they may need to go to the doctor.

Depending on the age of your child and the reason they are refusing to eat or drink, they may need to go to the doctor.

If you have an infant it is very important to watch their input because they can dehydrate easily. If they are old enough to let you know what is hurting or wrong, you should treat it accordingly. If they have a sore throat, try to push fluids as much as possible. Fluids are more important than food in short term. If they refuse to eat or drink for an extended period of time, take them to their doctor or the emergency room.

#3. Sleeping too long

If your child is lethargic or sleeping too long they may need to go to the doctor.

Everyone needs extra sleep when you are fighting illness. The age of your child and what they are able to tell you about how they feel will determine your actions.

You know your child better than anyone else, if they are listless or lethargic they need to go their doctor or emergency room. If you have an older child let them rest, giving fluids and food as tolerated. But if it continues to afflict them take them to their pediatrician.

#4. Vomiting or diarrhea

If your child has vomiting and diarrhea that won’t stop, they need to go to the doctor.

It may be that they have a viral infection, which is usually treated symptomatically. If your child is not improving take them to their doctor. You don’t have to wait while your child is suffering. You have the right and obligation to take your child to the doctor.

“Remember you are your child’s advocate, and no one knows your child better than you.”

Remember you are your child’s advocate, and no one knows your child better than you. If you just have a gut feeling that something more serious is going on, take your child to the doctor or emergency room right away.

There may be times that you challenge the doctor’s diagnosis. That’s ok! Doctors do not know everything. They may have missed something that you are seeing. Stand up for your child and find out what is wrong and help your child get better.


Great tips to help you know when your child needs to go to the doctor!

Disclosure: This article was contributed by a healthcare professional. The information provided is in no way an alternative to seeking medical advice from your doctor. It is simply intended to give additional advice on every day, non-emergent situations from a mother who is a licensed R.N. If your situation is urgent, please contact your doctor immediately (or 911 if an emergency).




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