When to take your toddler to hospital

When to take your toddler to hospital

Toddlers are adorable. They are essentially tiny humans who are learning to utilise their bodies in a very new world. They climb, run, jump and attempt dangerous feats, albeit very clumsily. They also tend to explore crevices that are better left unexplored and in the process pick up nasty germs and infections.

Some injuries and illnesses come with the territory and are usually resolved with some TLC at home, while other ailments are a bit more serious. But, when should you make the call to go to the emergency room?

High fever

A fever once in a while is normal for young children, but a fever that lasts for 3 days is a concern. A temperature reading of 38 degrees Celsius is considered to be a fever. A fever is the body’s immune response to an infection and is usually a good thing as it helps the body fight off the infection. When a child has a fever, it is most important to watch for accompanying symptoms. If your child shows malaise, isn’t interested in food or drink and if his/her eyes are droopy, these are signs that you need to get him/her to a doctor immediately.

A tight chest

A tight chest is always a sign that medical intervention is needed. Wheezing, a persistent cough and a sunken chest are emergencies, especially with toddlers who have narrower air passages than grown children and adults.

If your child is having difficulty breathing, he/she may need to be put on a nebuliser at the hospital. If your child’s skin seems blue or grey, he/she may not be getting enough oxygen. Listen particularly for wheezing. If the airways become tighter or narrower for any reason, the air has trouble moving into and out of the lungs. When this happens, wheezing can occur, Wellness explains.

Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain can be an indication of anything from appendicitis to gastroenteritis and should never be ignored. If the pain is continuous and associated with vomiting, lethargy, and the child appears unwell, go to the doctor immediately, advises Child Health.

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