When to Take Your Child to the Doctor

December 4, 2020 2:22 pm Published by

If you’re a parent, it’s common to worry about your child. And if your child isn’t feeling well, you’re almost certain to wonder when to take your child to the doctor or another healthcare provider. Should you always go, just to be on the safe side? Or is it better to wait it out?

Mild Symptoms, Stay Home?

If your child only has a low fever, mild symptoms and is behaving almost normally, you might be OK with skipping a doctor’s visit. But if your child is not up to date on vaccines or has missed their annual flu shot, a trip to the primary care provider (PCP) may be needed.

The best way to know if your child needs to see a doctor is to watch how they act. Do they still have energy? Is their appetite normal, despite a fever or cough? Or are they acting lethargic and complaining about or appear to be in extreme pain?

Read more: Well Child Visits

When You Should Seek Care?

Fevers are normal as a body fights infection. But if your child is under 3 and has a fever of 102.2 degrees or higher, you need to call a doctor. An older child with a temperature this high could also need prompt medical care. Other potentially serious symptoms include:

  • Bluish appearance
  • Excessive diarrhea
  • Inability to eat or drink
  • Severe stomach, throat or ear pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Widespread rash
  • Worsening symptoms

Even if you think your child just has a cold, you should still call your child’s pediatrician or family medicine provider if your child has not gotten better after three days.

Read more: Sick Child Visits

When Is a Child Too Sick to Go to School?

In the past, many parents have sent children to school with minor colds and runny noses. But as COVID-19 cases in the area continue to rise, now is not the time to take risks. If your child has any symptoms that could be cold, flu or COVID-19, they need to stay home—and so do you.

If you think your child has the coronavirus and you’re looking for medical guidance, Magnolia Regional Health Center’s team of PCPs can provide testing, medical care and advice on how long you need to stay away from other people.

If your child is under the weather, find a PCP at care.mrhc.org/primary-care or call (662) 664-5181.


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This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center


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