When should I call a doctor?
Trust your instincts, they will nearly always be right. If you are at all concerned about your child just make that phone call. For most doctors, there is only one thing better than seeing a child and that is seeing a child and being able to reassure the parents that they are fine. For the rest- well it’s just tough. Your child’s health and happiness and your sanity is more important than worrying about making a grumpy doctor a bit grumpier.
Although the above advice is the single most important answer to the question of “when should I call a doctor”, specific points include:
- Persistent or very high temperatures
- Dry or persistently lighter than usual nappies
- Other signs of dehydration
- Blood in his poo
- Persistent vomiting
- A rash, unexplained bruising or other unexplained skin markings
- An unusual or high pitched cry
- Inconsolable crying or irritability
- If he is much quieter than usual or drowsy
- If he is unable to walk (in children of walking age), or unexplained limping
- Unexplained limb or back pain
- Avoidance of lights
- Headache, neck pain or neck stiffness.
Have the following telephone numbers together in a handy place (e.g. taped inside the door of you bathroom cabinet).This should reduce some of the panic in the middle of the night:
- Your local GP’s phone number.
- The number for your “out of hours” doctors service (usually available on an answer machine message when you phone your GP surgery out of hours).
- The number for NHS Direct. 0845 4647 or see: nhsdirect.nhs.uk