Health Tips: When To Visit The Doctor

If your child is sick, how do you know when to call the physician and make an appointment and when it can wait until the morning.

It's one o'clock in the morning and your baby has a fever, you panic. Do you wake up your family doctor? Do you rush your baby to the emergency room? Sometimes, when you are a parent, it is hard to know what to do, you don't want to bother people in the middle of the night for no reason, but you are afraid for your baby, you've heard the horror stories. The truth is, there are no hard and fast rules for knowing when it is time to call the doctor, a parent's intuition is usually the best measuring device.

As long as it is not the middle of the night, it is perfectly fine to call your doctor as soon as your baby exhibits any signs of illness. Your doctor will advise you on what to do and how long to wait before you call him again. You may want to discuss with your doctor ahead of time to find out what conditions he deems serious enough for a midnight phone call. If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night with a fever, it is probably o.k. to wait until morning as long as the fever is less than 103. Many times, when we let a baby's fever go untreated, it resolves itself. A fever is, after all, the body's response to infection. The body's elevated temperature makes an unwelcoming environment for the offender and it is often beaten down by the fever alone. When we treat fevers too quickly, the body is unable then to fight the infection naturally and the need for antibiotics increases.

If your baby is acting distressed or crying inconsolably or you otherwise feel that something is just not right, go ahead and call the doctor, he is used to being awoken in the middle of the night and that is what he makes the big bucks for. Don't ever put your concern for a doctor's sleep over the well being of your baby and if your doctor doesn't answer you within a short period of time, head to the emergency room. Don't wait for your instincts to be validated, it's better to be safe than sorry.

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