It's not the super-high temp or the bloody head bonk that trips us up. The less obvious situations are the ones that leave us wondering: To call the doc or not? Kathryn Emery, M.D., an ER physician at the Children's Hospital at the University of Colorado, Denver--and a mom--reveals when she'd pick up the phone:
- A fever that doesn't come down an hour after giving your child a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen. Ditto a high temp that responds to medicine but hangs on for several days--or goes away and comes back a day or so later.
- Abdominal pain, especially if it's on the right side. (This could be a sign of an inflamed appendix.)
- A fall that causes swelling in the injured area (arm, leg, ankle, etc.) and that your child is still babying and complaining about the next day.
- Unexplained poor food intake with fever for two days or decreased urine for one day (or both).
- Any difficulty swallowing. Your child could have something lodged in his throat or may be having an allergic reaction.
- Headache that's accompanied by a fever or vomiting.
- Any kind of rash or skin issue that makes you think "Eww, what is that?"
- When something just isn't right. "Trust your gut and call," Dr. Emery says. "I would!"