When To Take Your Child To Urgent Care
As a parent, you want to always do everything you can when your child is sick, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly how sick your child is, especially when they’re very young and can’t communicate what is bothering them. Urgent care or a trip to the hospital isn’t always needed for simple problems such as a cold, mild diarrhea, or mild fevers. So, when is it necessary to take your child to urgent care?
Not all illnesses need an immediate visit with your pediatrician and it’s important for you to know what symptoms to look out for. Some symptoms that may require urgent care are:
Vomiting and diarrhea that lasts more than a few hours
Rash, especially with a fever
A cough or cold that lasts several days
Large cuts or gashes
Limping or the inability to move an arm or leg
Ear pain with fever
A severe sore throat or swallowing problems
Sharp and persistent stomach or abdomen pain
Blood in urine
Blood in stool
Not being able to drink for more than 12 hours
Rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 2 months old
Fever and vomiting
Any pain that gets worse and doesn’t go away after several hours
While many illnesses may go away with love and nurturing after a few days, there are times when it is necessary to see your pediatrician as soon as possible. If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, be sure to call your pediatrician right away to find out if it is necessary for your child to go in for an appointment so that your child can get well as soon as possible.
What’s going around?
As a pediatrician, I am often asked the question “What’s going around?” by friends and family as a conversation starter. I resist the urge to answer, “everything,” and I pause to approach this question with a more scientific and thoughtful reply.
In reality, there is a certain seasonality that is quite dependable in pediatrics. For example, the months of October through March in the northeast are traditionally the busiest months to visit a pediatrician’s office. During this time, the office is usually inundated with children who have upper respiratory illnesses. We are likely to diagnose cases of influenza (flu), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and a whole host of other respiratory viruses. Additionally, pneumonia seems to occur more often in children during this time period as well. We also see an increase in the incidence of strep throat during the months that school is in session. This is likely due to the direct contact that leads to strep infections in school settings.
From spring to summer, while non-infectious, we often see patients for seasonal allergies as well. During the summer months, you may have noticed your pediatrician’s office is a bit quieter. During these months, it is far more common to be see healthy children for checkups than to see the viruses and infections described above. However, we do see many patients for otitis externa during the summer months, also known as swimmer’s ear. We also tend to see the dreaded, but usually relatively benign hand foot and mouth virus in the warmer months.
Unfortunately, when it comes to vomiting and diarrhea, there is less seasonality. While Norovirus (virus causing vomiting and diarrhea) occurs most often during the winter months, specifically from October to April, this virus is persistent and often shows its face during the summer months as well. Additionally, Rotavirus, once a scourge of the pediatrician which led to many infantile hospitalizations for vomiting and diarrhea tends to occur from November to April with peaks in February and March, however in recent years the illness burden has been dramatically reduced by the introduction of the oral Rotavirus vaccine.
While this is just a small segment of the illnesses we see in a pediatric setting, I hope this has helped to give you a better idea about the kinds of illnesses that are seen with the changing seasons. As always the best way to prevent your child from getting sick is to encourage frequent hand washing with soap and water. When prevention alone does not work, we are always available to see your child or have one of our board certified pediatrician's return your phone call whenever needed.
I am a board certified pediatrician who has been at Healthy Kids Pediatrics for the past year. Prior to working at Healthy Kids Pediatric Group, I practiced at a busy office in southern New Jersey where I worked for eight years after completing residency at St. Christophers Hospital For Children in Philadelphia. My interests include general pediatric well care, complicated medical conditions and behavioral health including ADHD. All of us at Healthy Kids Pediatric Group look forward to meeting new patients.
Welcome to the Blog of Healthy Kids Pediatric Group
Whether your child is an existing patient or you’re searching for a pediatrician in the East Windsor, NJ area, we’re excited you are here. With the pediatric industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping parents and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote a lifestyle of good health for your child. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including pediatric health care news, advancements in pediatric treatment, practical child health care advice and updates from our practice.
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As always, feel free to contact Healthy Kids Pediatric Group with any health questions or concerns.
-- The Pediatric Team at Healthy Kids Pediatric Group
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