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When Should You Take Your Baby to the Doctor?

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Which signs or symptoms should make you seek medical attention when your baby is sick?

baby at doctor

Every parent hopes his/her child won't get sick, but often illness is hard to avoid. Mild forms of the common cold and stomach flu are usually nothing to worry about, but be sure your child gets plenty of fluids and rest. It's important to always pay close attention to changes in your baby's behavior and appearance in order to detect a more severe ailment.

Contact your doctor if your child:
• Has a fever of:
o 100.4°F (38C) or higher (Babies two months and younger), call your doctor even if he or she looks fine.
o 101F (38.3C) or higher (Babies three months of age to 6 months of age), call your doctor even if he or she looks fine.
o 102F (38.8C) to 102.9F (39.4C) (Babies six months and older) watch his or her behavior. Call your doctor if fever rises or persists for more than two days.
o 103°F(39.4C) or higher (Babies six months and older), call your doctor even if the baby doesn't look sick.
• His/her crying intensifies or changes patterns when you pick him/her up.
• Has constant vomiting or diarrhea.
• Makes a wheezing or high-pitched noise when breathing. In newborns, wheezing accompanied by noticeable chest retractions or a blue/pale tint to the skin are causes for concern. (Trouble breathing).
• Has a seizure(s).
• Is unresponsive or limp.

Before contacting your doctor, make sure to make a list of the following to help him/her properly diagnose your child:
• Your baby's symptoms.
• His/her medical history.
• Any changes in the amount of food your baby has ingested.
• Current temperature and if he/she has had a fever.
• Medications (over-the-counter, home remedies and holistic) that you have given your baby in the last 24-48 hours.

It is important to remain calm during what is often a stressful situation for your child when he/she is sick. Keep in mind that there isn't always a quick and easy fix to get your child on the road to recovery. We recommend calling your pediatrician first as he/she is familiar with your child and his/her medical history. If you are unable to reach your doctor and your baby's symptoms worsen, take your child to the nearest emergency room.

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