Moms and dads, listen up! Whether you are a first-time mom/dad or a parent with the trustworthy and reliable godparents for your kids, you should never overlook some symptoms exhibited by your child. You love them, and you get scared by every little thing, and that isn’t the most terrible thing you can do. In fact, it’s the best you can do for your little one. You have the right to worry every little thing that feels off.
Why? Kids have weak, underdeveloped immune systems meaning that an infection or a rash that isn’t a big deal to adults, could be a life or death matter in kids. At the same time, children are unable to communicate what they feel. So, you have to learn more about your child and then act on anything out of the ordinary.
So, which are the symptoms you should be aware of? When should you be phased out? What temperature qualifies as a high fever? Which kind of tummy ache signifies more serious problems than an ordinary stomach bug? And when should you rush to the ER rather than call your pediatrician or use a Temperature Scanning Kiosk?
- A high fever (+100.4F)
If your child is less than 3 months old and has a high fever of above 100.4F, 101F for a child between 3 and 6 months, and more than 103F in kids above 6 months, you should seek immediate medical help. This is because a fever resulting from a bacterial infection in a child aged below 3 months could easily spread to the rest of the body and the situation may be dire if you don’t seek immediate medical attention.
While the most common of high fever is a common virus, you need to have your little one checked out to keep the situation under control. The only time you can call your pediatrician rather than rush to the ER is if your child appears to be well despite the high fever.
You also need to get them immediate medical help especially when the fever is accompanied by a severe headache. If a headache only worsens with time, you should ask your doctor to rule out meningitis immediately to prevent complications or death.
- Long-lasting fevers
If you baby’s fever persists five days after treatment, and if it lasts more than 5 days following the use of ibuprofen or acetaminophen among other fever-reducing medication, then you should get to your pediatrician immediately. Th persistent fever often means a stubborn infection that’s too strong for the body to fight off. In most cases, the persistent fevers result from bacterial pneumonia.
- Inability to respond to any loud sounds or when they cannot hear subtle sounds
Even though your newborn or baby cannot tell you whether they can hear your voice or not, they will most certainly respond to loud noises. So, if your baby isn’t bothered by the loud noises soon after their birth, you should get an appointment with the pediatrician to check for possible hearing problems.
And, if despite your child’s normal growth, you realize that they cannot hear the loud and the subtle noises made, especially when they’ve grown up around loud noises, then you should let your pediatrician know. While at it, keep the noises to safe levels and if they use headphones, the volume shouldn’t be more than half the maximum volume. Detected early, hearing loss could be reversed or managed to improve the child’s quality of life.
- Abdominal pain
Though common in kids – it could result from new food eaten, an overload or junk food, and new diet; abdominal pain could signal a bigger problem if your child exhibits more discomfort than they normally do or if the abdominal pains are associated with pain in the right lower side of the tummy diarrhea, stomach tenderness or vomiting. Often, these symptoms signal appendicitis. Note that that pain from a stomach bug reduces with time while the pain from appendicitis will increase with time.
- A circle shaped rash
If your baby has a rash resembling a bull’s eye, or if the rash has small tiny red dots which persist even after you press their skin, or if there is excessive bruising when the rash is pressed, then that could be a symptom of Lyme disease. You’ll need to seek immediate medical help. Also, unexplained and widespread bruising could point to a blood disorder.
On the other hand, splotchy and raised rashes signify allergic reactions.
- Trouble focusing
Generally, kids have trouble staying focused. And the worst bit is that your child may not tell you when their vision is blurry or when their eyes are unable to focus. So, if your child hardly ever focuses and if the new math tutor mentions that they have difficulties reading, if they squint or if they sit too close to the TV, then you should get them to the doctor. Sometimes, the disruptive behavior labeled ADHD is your child’s way of making up for their poor vision.
- Extreme Fatigue
This should be a cause for alarm especially if your active child doesn’t have as much energy as they did. You shouldn’t ignore your child if they complain about being tired all the time. Fatigue could be a symptom of depression, malabsorption, anemia, or headaches. You should be careful, especially with your teenage kids since they may suffer from social or medical problems.
- Severe headaches
Never ignore that constant headache affecting your child. While poor sleep, vision issues, or allergies, and staring at the TV for way too long are some of the causes of headaches, a headache that persists after taking acetaminophen, especially the ones accompanies with vomiting in the middle of the night, or the loss of balance, weakness, blurred visions and the loss of coordination shouldn’t be ignored. You need to see a doctor immediately to rule out meningitis, brain tumors or trauma to the head.
Other symptoms that should raise the alarm include unexplained weight loss, extreme thirst (a sign of type I diabetes), changes in the appearance of moles, and excessive bruising. Be wary of cuts and scrapes that don’t heal fast or the ones that cause excess pain. Pain when urinating, lack of interest in school, extreme sleepiness, stiff neck, swelling of joints, and blue lips should also be taken seriously.