These are health symptoms parents must never overlook in Children. As Parents, one of our top priorities is our children’s health. When they fall ill, we are always quite confused about either taking them to the doctor or waiting to see how their health performs after first aid treatments. While some symptoms such as a runny nose and cough are often normal and not a cause for concern, some others point to a major health issue and should never be overlooked. These symptoms will need you to take your kids to the doctor if they persist. Some of these symptoms are:
1. Severe headache
According to WebMD, If a headache doesn’t go away with over-the-counter pain relievers and/or rest, or a headache endures for several hours, or if the pain is so intense that your child can’t eat, play, or even enjoy her favorite TV show, then it is severe and you need to see the doctor. If a headache is severe enough to incapacitate the child, then it needs to be attended to urgently.
When a headache is accompanied by blurred vision, confusion or difficulty in walking, vomiting, fever, stiff neck and rashes, you should see the doctor quickly as these could indicate serious conditions like meningitis which is considered a medical emergency.
2. Lasting stomach pain
According to MedlinePlus, almost all children have abdominal pain at one time or another. Abdominal pain is a pain in the stomach or belly area. Most of the time, it is not caused by a serious medical problem. But sometimes abdominal pain can be a sign of something serious. As a parent, you need to learn when you should seek medical care right away for your child with abdominal pains.
When your child complains of abdominal pain, see if they can describe it to you. Then you can place it in any of the following different kinds of pain and react appropriately.
- Generalised pain or pain over more than half of the belly. Your child can have this kind of pain when they have a stomach virus, indigestion, gas, or when they become constipated. It is usually not serious.
- Cramp-like pain is likely to be due to gas and bloating. It is often followed by diarrhoea. It is usually not serious.
- Colicky pain is pain that comes in waves, usually starts and ends suddenly, and is often severe.
- Localised pain is a pain in only one area of the belly. Your child may be having problems with their appendix, gallbladder, a hernia (twisted bowel), ovary, testicles, or stomach (ulcers). It is often severe.
If your child is complaining about pain on the right side of the abdomen, visit the doctor, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea. This can be a sign of appendicitis, a condition that progresses rapidly unless diagnosed quickly.
3. Breathing problems
While temporary breathing inconsistency may be caused by exercise, noisy, troubled breathing can be more serious. “Breathing problems are more worrisome when the sounds come from the chest and lungs, not the nose, and may be a sign of an allergic reaction, an asthma attack, choking, pneumonia or whooping cough.
According to WebMD, you can check your child’s respiratory rate by counting the number of times her chest rises in a minute. For kids 1 to 5 years old, a normal resting breathing rate falls between 20 to 30 breaths per minute. For 4 to 12-year-olds, it’s 12 to 30 breaths per minute.
If you notice your child is having breathing problems, take her to your doctor.
4. Persistent or high fever
According to Mayo Clinic, A fever is a common sign of illness, though not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, fevers seem to play a key role in fighting infections. A higher body temperature enhances the internal workings of the cell. This means disease-fighting cells respond faster, and immune responses increase. A very high fever, however, can indicate a serious infection or problem.
According to WebMD, if your child is below 2 years old, she should be seen by a doctor within 48 hours of a high fever. Further recommendation states that you take your child to the doctor if her fever is 40 °C or higher and has persisted for four or more days in a row.
Call the doctor if the fever is accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, severe stomach ache, and severe headache. Watch out for uncharacteristic behaviours as well. You know your child best so you know when her fever is causing her to be irritable and inactive. Notice if she’s not making eye contact with you or isn’t responding to your voice.
5. Severe vomiting and diarrhoea
According to NHS, It’s normal for babies and children to vomit occasionally. In most cases, it will last no longer than one to two days and isn’t a sign of anything serious.
The most common cause of vomiting in children and babies is gastroenteritis. This is an infection of the gut usually caused by a virus or bacteria, which also causes diarrhoea. The symptoms can be unpleasant but your child will usually start to feel better after a few days.
However, persistent vomiting can sometimes cause your child to become severely dehydrated and occasionally it can be a sign of something more serious, such as meningitis. Dehydration can also cause serious complications including low blood volume shock, which can be life-threatening.
If your child vomits, you should keep a close eye on her. If the cause is just a tummy bug, your child should still be feeling well enough to eat, play and be her usual self. In this case, keep feeding her as normal and offer her regular drinks.
But if she doesn’t seem herself – for example, if she’s flaccid, irritable or less responsive – she may be seriously ill, so you should get medical help immediately.
You should contact your doctor if your child is repeatedly vomiting and is unable to retain fluids, if she’s dehydrated, if her vomit is green or contains blood and if she has been vomiting for more than a day or two.
6. Excessive bleeding
According to Healthline, Injuries and certain medical conditions can result in bleeding. This can trigger anxiety and fear, but the bleeding has a healing purpose. However, you still need to understand when to treat common bleeding incidents such as cuts and bloody noses, as well as when to seek medical help.
Before you begin to treat your child for an injury, you should identify its severity as best as you can. There are some situations in which you shouldn’t try to administer any kind of first aid at all. If you suspect that there’s internal bleeding or if there’s an embedded object surrounding the site of the injury, immediately seek medical help.
Also, seek immediate medical care for a cut or wound if it’s deep, or a puncture wound, or it’s on the face, or the result of an animal bite. Furthermore, if there’s dirt that won’t come out after washing or the bleeding will not stop after 15 to 20 minutes of first aid, you should seek medical help.
7. Weight loss
According to Livestrong, unintentional weight loss in children can happen for a number of reasons. These reasons include thyroid problems, pain or sores in the mouth, illness, metabolism issues and rarely, cancer. Each of these conditions poses problems with weight loss in children. Consult your doctor if you notice drastic weight loss in your child as it can have adverse effects on your child’s overall health and development.
To identify unintentional weight loss in your child, it is important to pay close attention to her eating habits as well as daily routine. If you notice that your child has lost over 5 percent of her body weight over a period of fewer than six months, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Look for small changes such as mouth sores, loose teeth, complaints of pain or illness or loss of appetite due to behavioural problems or depression. These may all be reasons for your child’s unintentional weight loss. At times, some of the following symptoms may accompany weight loss; fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, sore throat, decreased urination and being overly tired. Consult your doctor if your child experiences any of these symptoms as he may need to evaluate your child.
These are some reasons your child will need to go to the doctor throughout her growing years. While doctor’s visits are usually routine, some are not. When you are aware of possibly serious symptoms, illnesses can be caught early and treated before complications arise.
It is important to take immediate action if you notice your child is suffering one or more of these symptoms discussed above. Even if it turns out that it is nothing serious, it is better to be safe than sorry. If, even after a visit to the doctor, the situation worsens or the symptoms do not go away, consult a second opinion.
Do you have any additional health symptoms parents must not overlook in their children? Kindly share with us in the comments section below.