Posted on: 1 April 2015
Caring for a young child can be stressful, and many parents find themselves wondering whether or not their child's illness is serious enough to need a pediatrician's assistance. Since young children are often unable to tell you just how sick they really are, it's up to you as a parent to determine if medical help is required. Fevers are common among young children, but sometimes a fever can be a sign of a more serious problem.
Here are 3 signs to watch for when your child's fever has you wondering whether you should call the pediatrician.
1. How high your child's fever climbs.
While most adults maintain a constant temperature close to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a child with a temperature higher than this threshold number isn't necessarily cause for concern. If you notice that your child is feeling a little warm to the touch, use a rectal thermometer to get the most accurate reading.
For children between the ages of 0 and 3 months, temperatures higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit generally indicate a serious illness. Children over 3 months of age should see a pediatrician if their rectal temperature is higher than 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. How long your child's fever lasts.
If your young one is fighting off an infection, it is normal that a fever will develop as the body battles the infection. These fevers typically last a few days and, as long as your child continues to remain alert and hydrated, are generally not cause for concern.
When you notice that your child's fever lingers for four days or more, then it's time to become concerned. Pediatricians themselves start to worry about a fever after the four day mark, so schedule an appointment with your pediatrician if you don't notice your child's temperature returning to normal within a four day window.
2. How hydrated your child stays.
Fever is one of the major culprits behind dehydration. Since young children often are unable to voice how dehydrated they feel, it's important for you as a parent to become familiar with the signs of dehydration in a child.
As soon as you notice your child developing a fever, pay close attention to how wet your child's diaper becomes. If you do not notice any urination for a period of four to six hours, it's best to contact your pediatrician to avoid further health complications.
When a young child is ill it can be a scary time for parents. Taking the time to understand the signs that indicate a fever needs medical attention will help you more effectively work with your pediatrician to give your child the best possible care in the future. For more information, contact an experienced pediatrician like Bloom Paul.Share