When your child is sick, all you want is to make absolutely certainty nothing serious is going on. A headache can mean they’re dehydrated or sometimes it could have a much more severe reaction to a serious condition. So how can you tell when your child’s illness warrants a trip to the hospital?
The following are four important signs that your child needs to be taken to the hospital.
Severe or Recurring Headache
A severe or recurring headache is typically a good indication that your child would benefit from professional medical care. As noted in WebMD, a minor headache can be abated with rest or over-the-counter pain relievers. If the headache, however, causes intense pain or won’t go away after several hours, you may have something serious on your hands.
One way to determine the severity of your child’s headache is to determine whether they can still engage in normal activities like eating, playing, or reading their favorite book. If you feel your child lacks the usual or proper response to this activity, then a trip to the hospital would be a good idea.
A rash is a good indication of something abnormal that’s happening in your child’s body. If the rash is limited to one body area such as the feet or arms, it is likely harmless. However, a rash that covers the entire body should be examined by a medical professional.
Another way to determine whether a rash is serious is to touch it. If you press your finger against a red rash and find that it turns white and then turns red once you let go, it’s probably not serious. Allergic reactions such as hives will do this. On the other hand, a non-blanching rash that doesn’t change color when you press it can mean quite the opposite. For example, purple or red spots are often signs of sepsis or meningitis.
A stiff neck could mean your child just slept wrong or something much more serious. It can indicate meningitis. So be sure to pay close attention if your child will not look to the left or right and stands rigidly.
When children have food poisoning, they often experience vomiting and diarrhea. While these symptoms are normal, they can also lead to dehydration. If your child is vomiting frequently, a visit to the doctor’s office may be a good idea. Doing so will help ensure that the doctor can make suggestions such as which oral electrolyte solutions to use.
What to Expect in the Hospital
While every hospital is different, there are some things that you should expect when you enter the medical setting. In the hospital, you’ll meet with at least one nurse and a doctor. Feel free to ask either of them as many medical questions as you could.
You may think that a nurse might not know as much as a doctor, but those who have their master’s degree in nursing have definitely covered a significant amount of medical material.
While you’re at the hospital, you’ll be asked to fill out paperwork indicating your child’s medical history. Be sure to bring relevant information with you. You should be able to provide the name and number of your child’s primary care physician. It’s also important to know the contact information for the pharmacy where your child’s prescriptions are filled.
If you think your child may be in need of professional medical care, now is the time to analyze hers or his symptoms and make an informed decision. Use the information found in this quick reference guide to help you determine whether or not your child is in need of hospital care.