When our kids are sick or injured, our natural reaction is to get help as fast as we can (usually by running straight to the emergency room). While the ER might be our best option (and sometimes gives us a sense of peace right away!), sometimes, taking that expensive trip might not be necessary. Unless you have a ton of money to spare and a thing for getting laughed out of the hospital, sneezes, sniffles, runny noses, sore throats, and the occasional gross projectile puking , while disgusting, are really nothing you can’t handle at home. Without further ado, here are our top 5 emergency signs you should never ignore :
When is it time to call in the cavalry? Check out our list of childhood illness symptoms that you should never ignore:
1. A Rash
You’ll want to pay attention if a rash covers your child’s entire body. If the rash turns white once touched, then turns red again when it’s untouched this means you shouldn’t worry. Many viruses in children can include a rash as a common symptom along with whatever else they have. A rash that is non-blanching with small red or purple dots that don’t change color when touched, could indicate that medical attention is needed.
2. A Very High Fever
When your child acquires a fever, this means their immune system is working properly, and their body is responding in a natural way, defending itself against the infection. If your child’s fever is below 101F and is eating a drinking, skip the trip to the ER. If your child age two or over has a fever of 104 or over, a trip to the ER is warranted.
3. An Unbearable Headache
Headaches are typically caused by muscles being tight or strained in the scalp, near the neck and should seize on their own. If the headache is severe and its enough to incapacitate the child, this type of headache needs to be evaluated as soon as possible.
4. A Stomach Bug Lasting More Than 3 Days
A stomach bug could be either food poisoning or gastroenteritis, which should be monitored but is typically nothing serious. This normally causes both vomiting and diarrhea and should be monitored closely to avoid dehydration. If your child is losing too much liquid, they might need medicine to stop the dehydration.
5. A Stiff Neck
A stiff neck might indicate meningitis, a rare but dangerous infection that causes the membranes around the brain and/or spinal cord to swell. Signs of meningitis include a combination of neck stiffness, light sensitivity and headache. A stiff neck could also be a sign of tonsil inflammation or swollen lymph nodes. If there was any kind of trauma that may have caused your child’s stiff neck, head straight to the ER.
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