Should They Go to the Doctor?

By: Jessa Goddard, Medical Reporter
By: Jessa Goddard, Medical Reporter

Knoxville (WVLT) - It's not only cold outside, it's also cold and flu season.

But how do you now when a sniffle or cough is a sign of something more serious?

Medical Reporter Jessa Goddard takes a look at the symptoms that indicate when your child needs to see a doctor.

Pediatrician's offices are filling up now with infants sick with RSV and school-age children with the flu.

It's important to get your child help when he needs it, but also to prevent unnecessary visits to the doctor.

Most parents call the pediatrician when their child has a fever...

But Pediatrician Doctor Carla McKeethren says a fever isn't the only sign of a serious illness, requiring medical attention.

"If your child's having difficulty breathing, if there's any change in their color, if there's any change in their mental consciousness, if they can't hold down any fluids, if they look dry to you, and if they have a persistent fever longer than 3 to 5 days."

Call your pediatrician if your infant has a temperature above 100.4, or if your older child has a temperature of 103 or more.

But remember, it's not so much the number, but how your child is acting.

If your older child's temperature comes down quickly with home treatments, you don't necessarily need to call your doctor, as long as he's feeling well.

When in doubt, trust your instincts and call your doctor when your child is sick, especially if you think your child looks sick.

You should also call your doctor if your child's symptoms appear to be getting worse, even if he or she was recently seen by a doctor.


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