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When to Call the Doctor

Certain conditions and symptoms demand professional attention. In general, call your pediatrician if your child has any of the following:

  • A fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sweaty or clammy skin
  • Unusual and persistent crying
  • An injury that causes more than 15 minutes of crying
  • Disruptions in feeding patterns, especially a sudden loss of appetite
  • Ingestion of anything you suspect may be poisonous
  • Vomiting that differs in force or volume from normal spitting up
  • Diarrhea that smells foul or shows blood or mucus or is accompanied by a fever
  • Constipation that is accompanied by vomiting
  • Signs of blood in the urine or bowel movements
  • Unusual listlessness or inactivity
  • Convulsions or twitching fits
  • Marked changes in color or behavior
  • Any unfamiliar or widespread rash
  • Any burns that result in blisters
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • A persistent cough
  • Redness of the eyes or the discharge of pus from the eyes
  • Discharge from the ears or ear pain, which you may be able to recognize by the baby's constant turning of his head or pulling at his ear
  • Swelling or sinking of the fontanels (the two soft spots in your baby's head)

Of course, just because a symptom is not on the preceding list doesn't mean you shouldn't call. Feel free to call your child's doctor whenever you have concerns that cannot wait until the next scheduled visit.



More on: Babies

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bringing Up Baby © 1997 by Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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