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When to Call Your Pediatrician

New parenting is full of unknown, nerves, and uncharted territory. Your pediatrician can be a source of comfort who can answer your questions, put you at ease, and guide you through the next steps if serious issues do arise. 

You may need to call your pediatrician to set up an appointment and ask basic questions, or because you need help navigating a serious health concern. 

Questions for Your Pediatrician 

You don’t need to be in an emergency situation to have questions for your pediatrician. Parenting comes with all kinds of questions about typical and atypical child health and habits. You can book an appointment with a pediatrician to better understand what to expect as your child enters new growth and development phases and more. 

In some cases, a pediatrician may recommend visiting other professionals like a lactation consultant who can assist with breastfeeding concerns. 

Health Concerns & Emergency Scenarios 

It’s hard to tell the difference between a standard illness and an emergency in babies. In some cases, you won’t need to see your pediatrician at all. In others, you might need to stop in for a visit. True emergency scenarios usually involve bypassing the pediatrician and heading straight to the E.R. 

Fevers 

As WebMD points out, colds are common for infants, and fevers often accompany a cold. So when should you worry? 

  • If a fever lasts more than 3 days, call your pediatrician. 
  • If a newborn (under two months old) has a temperature of 100.4 or higher (from a rectal thermometer) go to the E.R. right away. 

Trouble Breathing 

Once again, colds are common culprits that can make breathing more difficult for babies. A stuffy nose is nothing to worry about. 

  • If breathing is difficult enough that your child is gasping or wheezing, call your pediatrician. 
  • If your child turns a bluish-purple color from lack of oxygen, call 911. 

Dehydration 

Because babies have such small stomachs, dehydration can happen quickly with infants. There are many signs of dehydration in infants and toddlers. Frequent symptoms include cracked lips, sunken eyes, and fussiness. Other more serious symptoms include crying with few or no tears, discoloration, fevers, and more. 

Reasons for dehydration can vary from trouble breastfeeding to illness. Dehydration can turn serious quickly, so be sure to call your pediatrician if you have trouble with latching, or if your child seems to have difficulty keeping milk down (projectile vomiting, not just spit ups). 

Once again, a fever (taken rectally) of 100.4 or higher is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. In this scenario, visit the E.R. right away. 

Rashes 

Rashes can appear and disappear without a known cause. As you learn more about your baby, you’re likely to encounter diaper rashes from wearing the wrong size, allergies, or more. 

Rashes that don’t seem to bother your children aren’t a big deal unless they stick around for more than a few days. 

  • Always call your pediatrician if a rash is accompanied by a fever so they can examine your child for an infection. 
  • Other symptoms to note include swelling, discomfort, oozing, pus, bumps, and out-of-character behavior. 

When in Doubt, Make the Call 

Your pediatrician is your guide to health concerns as a parent. Because they’re experts in child health, you can trust your pediatrician to answer your questions thoroughly and help put you at ease or take necessary action. 

From falls to stomach aches, scratches, coughs and more, there are plenty of worries that come up with new children. If you’re worried, we can help. Book an appointment or call Heart City Health to alleviate your concerns and get help when needed.

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