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Signs of Emergency

Because children get sick often, it’s important to know when an illness is considered an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Here you’ll find a list for times when you should call your child’s doctor or 9-1-1.

Mother Worried making phone call baby crying

Sometimes you need to call the doctor — or 9-1-1 — to get help right away.

Here are some of those times:
  • You child has trouble breathing.

  • Bleeding won’t stop.

  • Blood in your child’s urine or bowel movement.

  • Coughing up or throwing up blood.

  • Diarrhea and no urine for six hours.

  • Soft spot on your baby’s head is bulging or sunken.

  • Pain in the ear or liquid, pus, or blood coming out of your child’s ear.

  • You child has a hard time swallowing or won’t eat.

  • Your child has both a fever and a stiff neck.

  • Fever of 100.2 degrees F or higher, if your baby is younger than two months old.

  • Fever of 101 degrees F or higher, if your baby is between two and six months old.

  • Fever of 103 degrees F or higher, if your baby is between six months and two years old.

  • Any injury that you think is serious or may lead to your child’s death, especially injuries to the head, neck, or back. Even if your child seems okay, some of these types of injuries are only seen on the inside of your child’s body. These can be very serious and require immediate medical attention.

Remember, if you are ever concerned about your child’s health, don’t delay in contacting a nurse hotline or your child’s pediatrician immediately.

QUICK TIP: A parent’s instinct can be a powerful thing. If you feel your child is in danger, get help right away. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

First 5 California
Contributed by:
First 5 California
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