One of the hardest calls to make as a parent is figuring out when to call your child’s doctor. While it’s always a good idea to play it safe, many parents worry that they might end up bringing their children into the office for something that could have more easily been handled at home. If you’re trying to make such a decision, you’ll want to keep a few factors in mind.
Important Factors to Consider
The first thing to think about, of course, is the significance of what you are dealing with. A fever of below one hundred degrees, for example, probably isn’t worth going to the doctor for, nor is a small scrape or bruise. On the other hand, a problem that seems bigger – a higher, longer-duration fever or a significant injury – should almost automatically warrant a visit to the doctor’s office.
It’s also worth thinking about your child’s general health. There is a certain degree of normality for any given child when it comes to how he or she reacts to being sick, and you need to keep that in mind. It might be worth bringing a child in for what might be a low fever if he or she typically runs cool, for example, or you might not want to bring in a child who complains about a stomach ache if he or she is typically prone to those problems (and, of course, other issues have already been ruled out by your doctor).
Finally, try to remember that it’s always worth bringing your child in to see his or her doctor if you feel like something is just not right. While it’s not fair to say that a parent’s intuition is always going to pay off, you will have a greater peace of mind if you take your child in to see a doctor when you feel like doing so is appropriate. The worst you can find out is that your child didn’t need to come into the office, so the true risk of going in is relatively low compared to the risk of staying at home out of fear that you are over-reacting.