When Should You Seek Medical Care for Your Child



As parents, it is normal to get concerned about your children’s health. If they get sick, we want them to get immediate medical attention. Especially during this flu season, it may be difficult to distinguish when your child should stay home and when you should take them to the doctor. Early recognition of symptoms and treatment can prevent an illness or injury from getting worse. 

Signs to Call your Healthcare Provider 

Knowing how to recognize when your child needs medical attention is essential. These signs will help determine if you should call a doctor:


A fever is one of the most common symptoms of many childhood illnesses. A temperature of more than 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a fever. You can call the doctor when your child’s temperature becomes higher than the maximum recommended temperature for their age. 

Stomach Pain 

If your child is complaining of stomach pain, gauge its severity. If your child cries when you touch their stomach, this means that they are experiencing immense pain. When this happens, call your doctor. 


Because of the cold weather, it is common for children to experience a cough with a runny nose. However, seek medical care if your child’s common symptoms continue to worsen after three days or if they have trouble breathing. 


Children who have sensitive skin get rashes. Call your doctor if the rash is accompanied by a purple color, a fever, or if the rash does not get better after a few days. 


Sometimes, children are so active that they trip, slip, or fall and get injured. If it’s a minor injury, they’re likely to be fine. But if a fall is accompanied by a bad headache, vomiting, confusion, irregular gait, or irritability, this might signal a  need to visit the doctor. 

Stomach Bugs

If your child only vomits a few times and has minimal stomach pain, then the bug will likely pass. But if vomiting continues for more than 24 hours or your child is vomiting bile, you need to notify your pediatrician. 


Signs to Go to the Emergency Department

For babies ages 2 to 3 months and younger, almost anything that is out of the ordinary needs to be checked by the doctor right away. Go to the emergency room if your child is experiencing any of the following:

  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has a severe allergic reaction 
  • Has a high fever with a headache and stiff neck 
  • Has a deep wound or heavy bleeding
  • Has a serious burn
  • Has a broken bone
  • Has chest pain
  • Has a seizure 

If you’re not sure what to do, immediately call your doctor. They will guide you on what steps to take to ensure the safety of your child. Children’s Medical Centers of Fresno provides quality healthcare to children of the Central Valley. Schedule your child’s appointment today!

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