Most parents know that their children have an increased risk of becoming ill: not only are their immune systems still developing, but they also spend time in busy schools, playgrounds and daycares, where germs can quickly spread from child to child. While it can be tempting to protect your children from every source of bacteria and potential sickness, this exposure is necessary to help them develop a resistance to these germs. But what should you do when your child develops a cough or a fever?
Be Wary of These Symptoms
In many cases, your son or daughter may simply need fluids and medication to suppress their cough or runny nose. However, children are especially vulnerable to bacteria when they have already contracted a virus or other issue, which makes it possible for serious infections to develop. For this reason, seek out medical attention if your child has a fever that lasts more than 48 hours or exceeds 103 degrees Fahrenheit, difficulty breathing, excessive fatigue or confusion, a seizure, severe vomiting or diarrhea, rashes, or blood in their phlegm, urine or vomit. These symptoms can be a sign of a serious illness and should be treated by local doctors immediately.
Visit the Right Medical Provider
Some parents may be tempted to seek out emergency room care for every medical situation, while others may be more cautious about the cost and long waiting periods associated with most emergency walk in clinics. Typically, however, it is recommended that as long as your child is not displaying signs of serious illness, such as seizures or difficulty breathing, and does not have a serious underlying condition, your first stop should be your primary care physician. Unfortunately, doctors offices often become overbooked with appointments and do not see patients on a walk in basis. If your child has any of the serious symptoms listed above, it may not be possible for you to wait for the next available opening; in these cases, you should consider seeking out pediatric urgent care services at a local urgent care clinic.
Urgent care centers are designed to provide treatment for non-life-threatening conditions without the hassle of scheduling an appointment. These medical walk in clinics are designed to be as convenient as possible: around 85% of centers are open seven days a week, and appointments are usually completed in an hour or less. Most importantly, the typical urgent care visit is 40 to 50% less expensive than a trip to the emergency room.
Treat Their Illness Carefully
One of the most important things you can do when your child is sick is keep them home from school or daycare for as long as their symptoms persist: while this can be difficult, they are not only likely to spread their sickness to other children, but their compromised immune systems can also make it more likely for them to pick up other viruses and infections. As they recuperate, it is important to follow whatever instructions you received from your primary care doctor, pediatric urgent care physician, or other medical professional: measure any medication out carefully, give your child plenty of fluids, and make sure they get plenty of sleep. If symptoms persist, schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor or visit a pediatric urgent care center to determine if your child needs additional care. While watching over sick children is never easy, taking the right steps can get your son or daughter back to prime condition in no time. Refernce materials: www.immediateclinic.com