Cold and flu season is here (sarcastic hooray). The most common illnesses usually have to be worked out through your child's body and there is nothing a doctor can do to help the process. However, there are times when your child needs to see the doctor, and it's always helpful to know when that is. Here is a list of times when your child needs a doctor's care:

Cough

If your child has had a cough that worsens after three to five days, or has a wheezing sound, or makes it difficult for your child to breathe, go see a doctor.

Fever

If your child under 3 months old has a temperature of 100.4 or above, if your child from 3 to 6 months has a temperature above 101, or your child over 6 months old has a temperature above 103, consider seeing a doctor. For older children, pay attention to their behavior. If they're acting relatively normal, you can play it as it goes. But if they're acting lethargic, having a hard time eating or sleeping, consider seeing a doctor.

Breathing

If your child has trouble breathing, go see a doctor.

Difficulty Waking Up

When a child is difficult to wake up when ill, take them in right away.

Vomiting

If your child is vomiting dark green bile, showing signs of dehydration, is a newborn or infant and is projectile vomiting, or having severe abdominal pain or headaches, go see a doctor. If your child just has a tummy bug, here's an article with simple remedies for nausea in kids.

Blood

Whenever blood shows up, it's a safe bet your child needs to be seen by a doctor. It's nature's way of saying, "AHHHH!" Whether it's in stools, coughing or vomiting blood, it's always a good idea to take the child in.

Chronic Symptoms

If your child has reoccurring problems, such as headaches or stomach aches, take them in to see a doctor.

Pain While Urinating

This is a sign of a urinary tract infection, that needs to be taken care of by a doctor.

Head Injuries

If your child loses consciousness after a fall, has a headache, or is acting peculiarly, run them over to see your doctor.

Allergic Reactions

If your child has trouble swallowing or breathing, they need to see a doctor.

Bleeding From Cuts/Scrapes

Any wound that continues to gush blood or the skin doesn't seem to want to come together, needs to be treated with stitches.

Testicular Pain

This needs to be checked out by a doctor

Seizures

If your child doesn't typically have them, get them in to see a doctor.

Weight Loss

This is a rare occurrence for children and can be a number of things, but needs to be checked out by a doctor.

Headache

When accompanied by a stiff neck, body aches and a fever, a headache can be very serious. Take your child right away to the doctor.

This is a great article on what a common cold can look like, and it can be a lot nastier than you'd imagine. But when you know a green nose doesn't necessarily mean a mandatory doctor visit, you can try some home remedies.

It's important to listen to your instincts with your children. You know when something just isn't right. There are even more symptoms that equal "do not pass go, do not collect $200, just get your bum over to the E.R." I found this article to be specific and helpful in researching when to take the kids to the doctor and when to let their bodies work it out. More often than not, it's just a flu, or some bug, but it's good to be aware. If you don't have a pediatrician, here's an article on questions to ask a potential pediatrician.

Also, if your child suffers from any immune diseases, even small problems can be a big deal. Be healthy this winter and take care of those little ones.

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