What should I do when my child has a fever? (Specify between neonatal fever and fever in other age groups)
Don’t panic. Fever is helpful and necessary to fight infection. A fever is 100.4 or above. Anything under 100.4 is not a true fever. A fever of 100.4 or above in the first 4 weeks of life, go straight to the ER. If a fever of 100.4 or above is noted in month 2-3, call your doctor to discuss other symptoms. If over 3 months and not having any other concerning symptoms, give Tylenol. No Motrin until 6 months of age. Older than 6 months, give Tylenol or Motrin for fever. Go to the ER if in respiratory distress or if not urinating at least 3 times in 24 hours. Make certain to push fluids and monitor symptoms.
Call your doctor if:
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Any serious symptoms occur such as trouble breathing
- Any fever 100.4 or above and your child is less than 28 days old
- Any fever 100.4 or above and your child is less than 12 weeks old
- Fever without other symptoms that lasts more than 24 hours (if age less than 2 years)
- Daily fevers > 5 days
- You think your child needs to be seen
How do I take my child’s temperature?
Typically, we recommend a rectal temperature for infants under the age of 2 months. But any other mode with a reliable thermometer is fine.
How do I take care of my newborn's umbilical cord? (Touch on things to watch out for that are concerning)
Just leave it alone. We no longer recommend placing rubbing alcohol on the site. It can increase risk for infection. It should dry up and fall off by itself in the first 1-2 weeks of life.
How do I take care of my newborn’s circumcision?
Hannibal Regional is currently using a gomco for circumcision. After circumcision, we would recommend covering the glans of the penis with Vaseline to help protect it from sticking to the diaper. This will help with healing. Apply Vaseline until it is completely healed, likely 5-7 days.
What can I do if my baby has diaper rash?
Allow diaper to air dry. Apply a zinc oxide barrier cream with each diaper change. Use water wipes or a sensitive towel with lukewarm water and sensitive soap for cleansing. If it worsens or persists, see your doctor.
My baby’s poop is weirdly colored. What does it mean?
Baby’s poop can be a lot of different colors, especially dependent on the foods they eat. Let your pediatrician know if stool is white, black or bloody.
When can I start giving my child Acetaminophen/Tylenol? What is the correct dose of Tylenol for my child?
You can start giving your child Tylenol at 1 month of age. Usually, a fever under 2 months needs an evaluation prior to Tylenol. View dosage chart here.
When can I start giving my child Ibuprofen/Motrin? What is the correct dose of Ibuprofen for my child?
You can start giving your child Ibuprofen at 6 months of age. View dosage chart here.
What should I do if my child gets a fever after receiving a vaccine?
Give Tylenol or Motrin, based on age.
What should I do if my baby is feeding poorly?
Try to wake baby up by getting them naked with just a diaper on. See your doctor if this lasts beyond a day.
Should I be concerned if my baby is spitting up?
Spitting up is very common. Seek immediate medical attention for green emesis, projectile emesis or if baby doesn’t urinate at least 3 times in 24 hours.
What should I do if my child is vomiting and/or having diarrhea?
Offer small amounts of liquid frequently and monitor urine output. Looking for child to have at least 3 voids/wet diapers in a 24-hour period.
My child has belly pain, what should I do?
It depends how the child looks – ill-appearing and belly pain should be seen right away. Distractible from the pain and not ill-appearing can usually wait for PCP visit.
My child has groin pain, what should I do?
For females, if there is concern for suprapubic pain and/or a fever, see your pediatrician in the office to get a urinalysis to check for a urinary tract infection.
For males, if they have groin pain and having any associated symptoms including scrotal swelling, exquisite tenderness to palpation, inability to visualize a testicle that they normal do you should seek care immediately in the ER. If pain is excruciating, or your child wakes up in 10/10 pain they need to be seen immediately. If less severe pain and more insidious in onset, it is recommended to see PCP that day.
What should I do if my child has a head injury?
Typically, we use PECARN criteria to decide whether head injuries can be monitored or require emergent evaluation or imaging.
Risk factors considered in PECARN:
- severe mechanism of injury (falling from a high surface)
- altered mentation (ask basic questions if child is old enough)
- if an infant, check for lethargy or level of responsiveness
- difficulty ambulating for a child that is mobile
- loss of consciousness
What should I do if my child is having difficulty breathing and/or wheezing?
Difficulty breathing requires urgent in-person evaluation.
My child is having difficulty swallowing, what should I do?
Call 911 or go to the ER.
My child has ingested something abnormal, what should I do?
Depends on the ingestion and how the child looks. If child is not immediately ill-appearing, it does not mean that side effects cannot happen later. ALWAYS CALL POISON CONTROL for advice. Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I do if my child has a foreign body lodged in a body orifice?
Can be seen in office same day if not in any acute distress to get the object removed.
If there is concern for an object being put in the vagina or rectum, your child should be seen same day by PCP.
If the foreign body is obstructing the airway, causing acute onset stridor, causing difficulty breathing, or causing bleeding in the orifice, then go to the ER.
If there is pain in the area, you are unsure of foreign object, it is reasonable to come in to see PCP.
If your child has unilateral foul-smelling nasal discharge, it is concerning for a foreign body.
What should I do if my child has COVID or may have been exposed to COVID?
If no respiratory distress or dehydration – ok to monitor at home.