My husband and I are compiling the last of our ‘bare bones’ baby needs shopping list. He looks at it and goes ‘a thermometer? We don’t need that right away do we?’ His thought being, the temperature taken with our hands would be just as telling as that which was taken digitally.
I made him understand ‘no!’ It’s not remotely good enough to use the sense of touch alone. And yes, you should have one of these from the start as you never ever know when your child will get sick. But then I wondered… so I have the thermometer, what do I do next?
Here are some danger signs that indicate the need for a doctor’s visit…
- A temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher in babies smaller than two months.
- Dehydration (crying without tears, sunken eyes, a depression in the fontanel, no urination in 6 to 8 hours).
- Dry mouth and tongue.
- Cold or clammy skin, temperatures lower than 98.6°.
- If the fontanel bulges when your baby’s quiet and upright.
- Has a stiff neck.
- Rapid or labored breathing (call 911 if your baby has breathing difficulty and begins turning blue or purplish around the lips or mouth).
- Unusual vomiting, forceful or excessive, or unable to keep fluids down.
- Bloody vomit or excrement.
- More than eight diarrhea stools in 8 hours.
- If he/she complains of tingling, or extreme discomfort in a specific body part.
If you see something alarming or out of the ordinary, don’t be hesitant to contact your doctor first, as opposed to rushing to the emergency room. If you go straight to the ER, you can run the risk of unnecessary tests and treatments.
I know I’m not a baby anymore, but I remember going to the emergency room when I was just 16 years old, throwing up from debilitating (level 10) kind of pain. Later on it turned out that I had gallstones, but the ER idiots, once I was done with my ‘episode’ prescribed me Prilosec. For acid reflux.
They treated a potentially deadly case of gallstones with antacids. It’s easy for me to see why it’d be better to talk to your primary caregiver.
If symptoms seem relatively ‘normal’ to your pediatrician, you may avoid the unnecessary trouble/worry. But lest you should think I’m one sided remember, it’s like the old adage states, better safe than sorry.
Have the following information written down and handy before you speak to your baby’s doctor.
- Your child’s temperature and when the fever began.
- Medications you’ve given him/her, what time it was administered first, last and in between.
- When and what he last ate and drank.
- Time of his last wet diaper.
- How much and how often is he/she vomiting and/or experiencing diarrhea.
- Any other relevant symptoms you noticed.