It’s not uncommon for children and toddlers to have around 8 to 12 colds, stomach bugs, and infections every year. While schools and daycares do everything they can to stay clean, they can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
When your child is up at all hours of the night crying with a high fever, it might be time for you to seek out after-hours medical care instead of waiting to make an appointment with their regular doctor.
We can help you decide when to rush your little one to urgent care. Continue reading to learn all the signs.
1. Ear Infections
Ear infections occur when fluid builds up around the ear drum. The bacteria can lead to a heavy amount of inflammation.
For children, this is a common condition. In fact, five out of six children will have one before their third birthday. Toddlers who are experiencing an ear infection may pull at their ears.
Your child may become overly fussy and difficult to console. Many children with ear infections will run a high fever and have a hard time falling asleep. In most cases, you’ll see visible discharge coming from their ear.
For the most part, your child’s regular doctor can offer pain relief in this situation. However, there are instances when going to urgent care is necessary.
Seek out other medical care options if your child’s fever and pain don’t go away after being on antibiotics for two days or if the discharge continues three days after seeing their regular physician.
2. Breathing Difficulties
Children with severe respiratory issues or asthma may have difficulties breathing. This almost always warrants seeking out immediate medical care for quick treatment.
The best way to tell if your little one is having difficulties catching their breath is to listen. If they’re wheezing or they can’t speak or cry, it’s time to worry.
In most instances, if your child is coughing, you can solve it with over-the-counter cough medicine. That doesn’t mean coughing can’t be dangerous when paired with other symptoms.
Check to make sure your little one isn’t having difficulties breathing. If they make a loud sound when breathing after a coughing fit, it may be time to go to urgent care.
It goes without saying that if your child is coughing up blood or has blue lips, they need immediate medical attention.
4. Severe Dehydration
Children are at a high risk of becoming dehydrated. That’s why it’s crucial to keep an eye out. This is especially true if you’ve had a sick child on your hands.
If your little one is experiencing severe diarrhea or vomiting, they’ll dehydrate faster. You can treat mild cases of dehydration at home, but more severe cases will require going to urgent care.
If your child is severely thirsty or lethargic, that’s cause for concern. Coldness in the hands and feet is also a common symptom of dehydration, along with sunken eyes, pale skin, and irritability.
If your child has a rash in a few places, it’s probably not a serious problem. If your child is covered in red and purple splotches, that’s different.
Press down on the spots, and if they turn white, take your child to urgent care right away. This is a sign of meningitis, which requires immediate medical attention.
Hives on the face is another serious condition that warrants a visit to urgent care. Hives are almost always a sign of an allergic reaction.
If your little one has them on their face, there’s a good chance that they’ve spread to their mouth and throat. Once there, hives can block the child’s airways and make it difficult to breathe.
6. Stomach Bug
Stomach bugs aren’t too much of a problem. They spread around schools often and leave as quickly as they come. For the most part, your child will recover within the span of a day or two.
The issue is the severe dehydration that can come along with them. If your child has been vomiting non-stop, you may need to take them to urgent care to get checked out.
If your child is experiencing less urination, clammy skin, sunken eyes, sticky mouth, or listlessness, they might need IV fluids to get them back in good shape.
If your child scrapes their knee at the park, this is a common injury. As long as they can still move their leg and the bleeding doesn’t persist, they don’t need to go to the doctor.
However, if their fingers are numb after twisting their wrist, they probably need to go to urgent care. Look for symptoms such as swelling, severe pain, inability to move a body part, and deformed body parts.
If you believe that your child has broken a bone, take them to urgent care. They’ll need to have the bone set to avoid further injury.
8. Bad Headache
You can treat most headaches with over-the-counter medications. After an ice pack and a little time in a dark room, the problem should sort itself out. The problem is if the headache persists for several hours without showing any signs of getting better.
If your child is in so much pain that they can’t play with their toys or perform regular activities, that’s a cause for concern. If your little one is experiencing vomiting, a stiff neck, or a fever, rush them to urgent care as fast as you can. These are all signs of meningitis.
9. Severe Stomach Pain
There are a number of reasons why your child may be experiencing stomach pain. It could be a simple cramp. It could also be appendicitis.
If your child is experiencing a fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, or abdominal pain on the right side of their body, seek out medical care.
Seek Out After-Hours Medical Care for Your Child Immediately
There are many reasons why you should seek out after-hours medical care for your sick child. While they may have a simple stomach bug, it can easily turn into something more sinister.
Let MedNow take care of your little one. Our board-certified physicians provide fast and affordable health care for those in the Augusta area. Go here to see our locations.