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When To Take Your Child To The Doctor

March 6, 2014, 6:13 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

When To Take Your Child To The Doctor

During cold and flu season, it can be difficult to determine if your children should go to the doctor or if you should just help them with their symptoms at home.

Monica Begeman wants to make sure her son is as healthy as possible, but always knowing when two-year-old Mason should see a doctor is difficult.

"I think you always kind of second guess yourself, but I think your motherly instinct kind of kicks in," Begeman said.

Dr. Juhi Gupta says if your child has a fever higher than 102 or the fever has lasted for three or more days, you should take him or her to the doctor.

"If they're really fussy and clingy, those might be signs of an ear infection," Gupta said.

Also if your child has had a cold or cough for about a week, it's a good idea to check with a doctor, but it's not necessary to bring them in if they just started sneezing or coughing.

"If they just started having fevers, so just a day of fever, low-grade, it wouldn't necessarily warrant them to bring them in," Gupta said.

If your children are battling flu-like symptoms, make sure they are not getting dehydrated, but if they've just vomited a few times, there's no need to rush them to the doctor's office.

"I think it's best to use your common sense and judgment and also the duration of the symptoms matters. If it's just not getting any better and you have tried the supportive care, it's probably a good idea to call," Gupta said.

If you don't bring your children to the doctor, there are several things you can do at home to help them through their symptoms. For instance, if they have a cold, make sure your child is getting plenty of fluids and plenty of rest, you also might want to try out a humidifier.

"If they're vomiting, we usually suggest Pedialyte, even if it's just a sip every ten or 15 minutes. That's still helpful," Gupta said.

While Mason checked out healthy during his checkup, his mom knows with so many viruses going around, it could be just a matter of time before one of her kids needs to see a doctor.

If your children have a fever or pain, Gupta says you can try Tylenol or Motrin to help them with their symptoms.

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