If your child is now sick or injured, your attention to the matter is crucial to your child’s health.  We are here to help you deal with this situation.  If you have an emergency that obviously threatens your child, call 911 immediately or go to your nearest emergency room. 

Thankfully, most illnesses and accidents do not require an emergency room visit.  Most infectious illnesses in children are due to viruses that kids routinely catch.  Most of these infections are harmless and will not permanently harm the child, although the viral infection can be uncomfortable.  However, you should know that serious illnesses can affect children and injure them.  So, how you respond to your child’s illness is an important matter.  Be vigilant, be careful and get help for your child if he or she needs it. Our website and printed handbook are there to help you decide when your child’s illness is significant enough to warrant an office visit to see one of our doctors, or if an emergency room visit is needed. See the topics below.

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About your visit

Please know that we intentionally hold half of our appointments unscheduled each day to deal with illnesses that come up in our patients.  These appointments become available at 8:00 am each day.  Illnesses in our young patients are not an intrusion in our schedule, they are part of our expected work each day.  The index menu below on this page is in alphabetical order and covers the most likely illnesses that your child might develop.  For instance if your child has fever, click on the fever link.  The information will tell you when you should bring your child in for an evaluation and whether an emergency room visit is needed.  We do want you to know that we trust a parent’s intuition.  If you feel that your child needs to be seen, call for an appointment or make an appointment on our patient portal.

In categorizing your child’s illness, the following information is helpful:

  • length of illness:  when did it start?
  • what are the main symptoms:  does the child have fever, vomiting, diarrhea, pulling at the ears, runny nose, cough, a rash, abdominal pain, pain on urination?
  • are any medications that your child may be taking:   what is the dose?
  • medication allergies?
  • significant past and current medical problems?
  • your child’s weight and age?
  • your child’s temperature:   if your child has a fever, how high is it?  How did you take the temperature, how old is your child, what are their other symptoms? (see section on fever on this website to help you determine if your child needs medical attention)

Another good source of information about sick kids is the symptom checker from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  You can access this website by clicking here.