New parents often experience the fear that anything might befall their children. It can be easy to become paranoid and to jump to horrific conclusions about your child’s health, but the best parenting is always executed from a calm, considered position. This will encourage you to make the best decisions and prevent overreactions that waste the precious time of nurses and doctors. Of course, there are times when you should immediately seek medical attention. Here are some tips of how to gauge whether or not to take your child to the doctor.
Don’t Overreact to Rashes
If your child has a rash remain calm. Sit them down and ask them what they were doing before it appeared. It may be a simple heat rash that will quickly subside. It could be a reaction to a plant. It could also be the symptom of a serious disease. Monitor the rash closely. If it worsens rapidly you short seek medical advice immediately.
If Your Child Has a Temperature
It is common for children to get a slight temperature. If this occurs, do not become alarmed. Make sure they drink plenty of water, make them rest and monitor the temperature closely. If it is over 37.5 (99.5F) it is a fever and you should seek medical advice.
Planning Foreign Travel
If you and your child are travelling abroad you may be exposed to dangerous diseases. Before travelling anywhere outside of the United Kingdom it is worth consulting the British Foreign office website to look at recommended vaccinations and health advice for your destination.
You can get most vaccinations at your local surgery, but perform your research and book your appointment two weeks before travelling. Some vaccinations can experience shortages or need to be administered a few days before travelling to the country, so it is best to leave plenty of time to organise them. It is always worth talking with your surgery nurse to ensure you have taken as much medical advice as possible.
Contagious Diseases at School
If your child has been exposed to any infectious diseases through school or extracurricular clubs (Scouts, Brownies, Sunday school etc), you should be especially observant about your child’s wellbeing. Schools and clubs should circulate warnings to parents if any child has been reported as having chicken pox, foot and mouth or anything severe such as meningitis, but it is also advisable to keep in regular contact with other parents so you can stay aware of such potential exposure. Only if you notice any corresponding symptoms to the illness should you visit the doctors.
Keep Medical Advice in Your Home
Invest in a medical manual of common baby and childhood maladies so you have a home reference book to consult before dashing to the doctors. Do not search online for the symptoms your child has, as much of the information available is not published by medical professionals and will only cause you to worry and to leap to unfounded conclusions.
Attempt self-diagnosis if the ailment is minor. Speak to other parents if you are still concerned and if it does not improve then seek medical advice.