When you have a young child, having a family doctor is an invaluable resource. From regular checkups to last-minute appointments to ask questions about a health condition that your child is experiencing, it's a comforting feeling to know that your family doctor is just a phone call or a short drive away. While you'll likely take your child to the family doctor for a wide range of reasons, there are a handful of times that you'll be trying to decide whether scheduling an appointment is best or whether you should head straight to the hospital. Here are four situations in which the latter action is best.
Fever Accompanied By Neck Stiffness
While a call to your doctor for advice is useful when your child has a fever, you can also effectively treat the issue with medication. There are times, however, in which a fever is especially serious. If your child is complaining of neck stiffness at the same time, it's an immediate concern because these two symptoms together can indicate a possibility of meningitis. In this case, you shouldn't wait to get an appointment with the family doctor and should visit the emergency room right away.
Children can experience difficulty breathing for a wide range of reasons, and all of them are terrifying as a parent. In some cases, your child might struggle to breathe and then resume normal breathing a short time later. Don't dismiss this situation as minor and plan to schedule an appointment with your family doctor. While he or she can help with things such as allergies and asthma at a later date, you need to get to the hospital immediately to ensure your child is all right.
Headaches That Won't Subside
A headache here and there isn't necessarily a major concern, but you should be worried if your child is suffering from headaches that won't subside. There are many different reasons for children to suffer from headaches, and many could be serious. For example, the child could have sustained a head injury that he or she hasn't told you about. If the pain isn't going away, your next stop should be the hospital.
Bloody Bowel Movements
While adults can occasionally experience blood in their bowel movements due to less-than-serious factors such as hemorrhoids, it should be an immediate concern if your child has such symptoms. Whether the child has suffered an injury or has a serious health issue that is leading to the symptom, he or she needs to receive care in an emergency room immediately.
Talk to a family doctor, like those at Rural Health Services Consortium Inc., for more information about any of these ailments that may warrant a trip to the emergency room.