10 Things That Aren't Worth Calling The Pediatrician For (And 10 That Are)

Being a parent comes with a variety of emotions, worries, and uncertainties especially if you are a first-time parent. Every sneeze, cough, rash, and anything else that doesn’t seem quite right set off an alarm in the minds of new parents. This is by no means a bad thing, it is good that moms are concerned about their child’s well-being.

With the first child, so many parents want to call the pediatrician for every little thing, whether it is in the middle of the day or the middle of the night. By the time most people have their second child, they are not as quick to go into panic mode when their child comes down with some kind of ailment. By this time, mothers especially have learned how to care for their sick children without having to consult the doctor right away.

Many very effective home remedies have begun by mother’s caring for their children and passing that knowledge down from generation to generation. I believe that some pediatricians could actually learn a few things from the average mother. Not only do experienced mothers know how to treat a variety of ailments but the love that they throw into the mix is the main ingredient. Here is a list of times when you should call the pediatrician and times when it is not necessary.

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20 Don't Need To Call: A Low Fever

Many new parents panic at the first sign of a fever in their child but according to Web MD, a fever can be a good thing because viruses are usually the main cause of infections in children and the fever help the body to fight the infection.

New parents will quickly learn what other parents already know, and that is the fact that your child or children will more than likely run a fever quite often throughout their younger years, and you need not panic.

More times than not, you won’t need to call your pediatrician since you can treat most fevers at home yourself.

19 Call: High Fever

Although minor fevers are usually nothing to be overly concerned about, according to Web MD, at the age of 2-3 months if your child has a fever of 100.4 or more you should probably call the doctor because there is the chance that the fever could be a symptom of something more.

With children 3 months or older if they have a fever higher than 104 and especially if there are other symptoms that go along with it such as trouble breathing, walking, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash then you should probably call your doctor.

18 Don't Need To Call: Getting Sick For A Short Period

When it comes to small babies you can expect them to be throwing up and it is usually nothing to worry about. As children get older they don’t vomit as much unless they are sick.

According to Bridges4kids.org, if the vomiting is persistent for 24 hours or more then you should contact your pediatrician, otherwise give your child some clear liquid about an hour after being sick but only a few sips and if after about 15 minutes if they keep it down then you can continue giving them liquids about every 15 minutes for approximately 4 hours and if they continue to keep it down you can start to give them some solids.

The one thing to watch out for with vomiting is that they do not get dehydrated. As mentioned earlier with babies, spitting up is normal but if it continues and they seem to have trouble keeping anything down you need to let the doctor see them as acid-reflux could be another issue.

17 Call: Persistent Sickness

According to Bridges4kids.org, persistent vomiting can lead to dehydration and if your child is unable to keep anything down for any lengthy amount of time, you need to get them to the doctor. And if it is after hours, you should take them to the ER.

In infants, if they are not keeping anything down with every feeding and they are not gaining the ounces, then they need to see a doctor because it is very important for babies to keep their pounds up.

A friend of mine had a baby who wouldn’t keep anything down and was obviously not gaining anything and it turned out to be acid-reflux, which is easily treated.

16 Don't Need To Call: Coughing

Everyone coughs every now and then, and according to Verywellfamily.com, coughing is a very common thing is children and is very rarely something to worry about and there is probably no need to run to the phone and call your doctor. Even when a cough is accompanied by a green runny nose your child will be just fine.

The common cold is something children seem to end up with so easily, especially if they are in school or in a daycare because obviously a cold will make its way around a classroom rather quickly. So, mom and dad, don’t panic.

15 Call: Breathing Issues

2011 annual report Addison Fields, 4 months old, in the high risk infant clinic. She's in an infant car seat (pumpkin seat).

If your child is having trouble breathing than of course this is cause for concern. Sometimes a child may have difficulties breathing if they are running a fever. In which case, if you can bring the fever down and their breathing becomes normal again then there is no need to be alarmed.

If your child does not have a fever but is having trouble breathing you may want to just run them to the ER rather than wait for the doctor. If it seems like he or she can’t get any sound out, then you should figure out the issue ASAP.

14 Don't Need To Call: Mild Congestion

Mild congestion in your child is something that you will have to deal with many times throughout the years. It is nothing to worry about and according to Lybrate.com, there is quite a variety of remedies for such an ailment.

When it comes to an infant, breastmilk is one of the healthiest things for their immune system. Squirting some saline solution into your child's nostrils will help to unclog their nasal passages.

Light steam is also good for congestion. A suction pump is also recommended for babies to help get some of that icky green stuff out of their nose, just make sure to wash the pump after every use.

13 Call: Child Is Lethargic

According to Verywellfamily.com, many parents seem to have the wrong idea of a lethargic child. They believe that when their child seems to be less active than normal, or much more tired than they usually are, that they are lethargic and right away want to call the doctor. It is great when a parent is concerned about their child, but pediatricians answer to false alarms every day.

Being lethargic really means that they are hard to wake up, and in those cases, yes, you should call your doctor. Although, false alarms are okay as well because, as parents, we sometimes panic over every little issue.

12 Don't Need To Call: Mild Diaper Rash

Most parents will eventually have to deal with diaper rash, which can make for a very g rumpy baby. The best way to treat and even help prevent diaper rash according to Aad.org, is first of all, always change a wet diaper right away, sitting in that mess too long will surely cause irritation.

When your child already has a rash be very gentle when changing their diaper, it is best to use wipes that are fragrance and alcohol-free. One thing you can do, if the rash has become severe, is to use a squirt bottle to clean off that area and then instead of putting another diaper on right away let their little bum air dry first.

11 Call: Red Stool

According to Bridges4kids.org, you need to call the doctor anytime there is blood in your child’s stool, no matter how large or small it may be.

When you take your child into the doctor, take a sample of the stool with you. It will help them greatly. Also, if your child has eaten any foods red in color that could resemble blood make sure you inform the doctor of this.

If it happens to be after hours, do not wait until morning. Take the child to the ER along with the sample. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

10 Don't Need To Call: Roseola

According to Mayoclinic.org, Roseola, though not a very common word, is actually a very common illness that affects most children by the time they reach the age of 2.

Some children might have this without even showing any signs of it at all while others may start off by having a fever many times higher than 103. And this may also be accompanied by a cough, runny nose, and sore throat.

Generally, there is no need to call the doctor and treatment is usually bed rest, medication for fever, and lots of fluids. Of course, if their fever is too high then you might want to call your doctor.

9 Call: Ingesting The Wrong Thing

Almost every home has a large number of chemicals and/or medications that should not be swallowed. What home does not have cleaning products or medications that could be cause issues if swallowed by a child, or anyone in general?

I believe that most parents keep these things well out of the reach of their children, but still, it does happen and any time you believe your child has ingested something bad you need to contact the poison control center immediately.

According to Healthychildren.org, in case of the ingestion of these kinds of product or medication, please call the hotline at 1-800-222-1222. You can call them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

8 Don't Need To Call: Teething

When it comes to babies, one thing every parent will have to go through is teething, and according to Mouthhealthy.org, you will have no trouble in telling when your child is teething.

Your little one will more than likely become incredibly active in the daytime and very restless at night. Some of the signs you may notice will be drooling more than normal, a loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, irritability, and fussiness. These are actually many of the things adults go through when they have a toothache, so it's not hard to imagine what your teething child is going through.

7 Call: Food Allergies

It's not easy when you have a child with food allergies. I have a nephew with multiple food allergies and his mother has to be very careful with what she feeds him and read all ingredients on food labels.

According to Kidshealth.org, allergies to food should be addressed. There is a large list of symptoms that include trouble breathing, throat tightness, belly pains, swelling, hives, and many others. If you suspect a food allergy call the doctor right away. Food allergies, if not treated immediately, can cause many issues. I cannot stress that enough.

6 Don't Need To Call: Red Rash On Arms And Legs

Fifth Disease is not as bad as it sounds. I think the only reason it sounds bad is just because of the word ”disease.” A word that usually puts fear in our minds, especially when it comes to our children.

This is a viral disease that causes a red rash to occur on the arms, legs, and cheeks which is why it is often times called, “slapped cheek disease.” There are currently no medications that can shorten the life of this disease and so doctor recommend waiting it out.

The only time it is severe is with those who have weak immune systems.

5 Call: Dehydration

According to Bridges4kids.org, if your child becomes dehydrated whether it is from diarrhea, vomiting, or even having a sore throat, which may cause them to not want to drink, you should most definitely call your child's doctor.

When it comes to infants you may notice that the soft spot on top of their head becomes sunk in and this is a very good sign of dehydration. They may have a dry tongue or lips, which is easy for you to check for. They may also have a headache and fever. In severe cases, they may need to be hooked up to an IV to receive fluids.

4 Don't Need To Call: Gas

Gas, something we all get no matter what age you are, though some people will try their best to hide it. Sometimes it can burst out with force and there is no concealing it. Babies, on the other hand, are not at that point yet, they are little noisemakers.

According to Parents.com, gas is never a reason to call the doctor and rarely does it cause discomfort.

If your baby has trouble getting the gas out, one helpful method is to have your child lying on their back and move their legs in a bicycle riding motion to help push those stinkers out.

3 Call: General Advice

There are so very many reasons to call your child’s pediatrician. Some reasons are just minor issues while there are some that are much more urgent. But it doesn’t always have to be a medical emergency, especially for first-time parents who are so worried and unsure about everything.

According to Verywellfamily.com, most pediatricians will welcome calls from parents who are just concerned that maybe they are doing something wrong and just need a little parenting advice from an expert, it helps to put their minds at easy hearing from a doctor. Don’t ever think that you are bothering your doctor by calling for little things.

2 Don't Need To Call: Poison Ivy

According to Babycenter.com, if your child gets poison ivy there is no need to rush him or her to the doctor, especially since there is no cure for it. The only thing you can do is to try to make it a little bit more bearable until it clears up.

If you are not sure whether it is poison or not, then you may want to give your doctor a call. But if you know it is poison, all you can really do is soothe it with a cool rag and maybe every 20 minutes or so rub an ice cube on it.

1 Call: A Bad Cough

Everybody gets a cough every now and then, and a minor cough is really nothing to worry about. However, according to Verywellfamily.com, if the child’s cough continues for a few days or they are wheezing and having a hard time breathing, chest pain or any other specific complaint along with a cough you need to call your doctor because at that point it may be more than just a common cold.

Even with a severe cough, it could turn out to be something very simple, but you do not want to take the chance it is best to have the doctor look at them.

References: Webmd.com, Bridges4kids.org, Verywellfamily.com, Kidshealth.org, Healthychildren.org, Lybrate.com, Aad.org, Mayoclinic.org, Babycenter.com, Mouthhealthy.org, Parents.com

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