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Vital Statistics for an Emergency Phone Call

When it's four a.m. and you've been up all night with a vomiting child, things can get a little blurry. To help the doctor determine what is wrong when you call, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Your name.
  • Your child's name (and age and weight, if you don't see the doctor often).
  • Your child's ailment, or what you think it might be.
  • Your child's temperature. Take it before you place the call.
  • The length of time your child has been ill.
  • The symptoms—be as precise as possible. If your child has been vomiting or having diarrhea, how frequently? For example, how many times has it happened in the past 12 hours?
  • A brief history: Are the symptoms getting better, worse, or holding steady? How much have they varied over the past 12 hours?

From Say the Magic Words by Lynette Padwa. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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