When Does Your Child Need to See an After Hours Doctor?

When your child has a fever, knowing whether you need to call a doctor is sometimes difficult. In a lot of cases, childhood fevers don't require urgent medical attention. However, when your little one does require the insights of a medical professional, it's always a good idea to act fast. 

Babies Require Faster Attention

If your child is under a year old and they have a fever above 38 degrees Celsius, it's always wise to call an after-hours doctor for advice. There's still a strong chance that they won't need to see someone promptly. The doctor you call may be able to perform an assessment over the phone, and they'll ask you to go and see them if they feel as though an in-person assessment is necessary.

Rashes Sometimes Require a Review

Rashes are often a normal part of a viral illness. As their immune system fights against the virus that's in place, a lot of children experience blotchy skin or a pin-prick rash. If your child's rash doesn't disappear when you roll a glass over it, by-pass the after-hours doctor service and take them to an emergency department. Otherwise, if you're concerned about any rash, it's usually a good idea to stay safe and seek advice.

Temperatures That Won't go Down

Temperatures are a normal part of fighting an infection. As your child's temperature rises, their body won't remain a habitable place for a virus or bacteria to live in. If you want to make them more comfortable, you can try giving them paracetamol or ibuprofen. But if their temperature continues to rise despite your efforts, it may be because the infection is too strong for their body to fight. Because of this, they'll need a review from an out-of-hours doctor.

Headaches and Stiff Necks

A temperature and a headache aren't always signs that your child is battling something sinister. When they have a fever, they're more likely to become dehydrated. As dehydration can sometimes cause headaches, they're not always a cause for concern. However, if that headache also comes with a stiff neck or if they seem particularly distressed by it, you should seek advice from a medical professional.

In many cases, your consultation with an after-hours doctor will result in further at-home care advice. But when you want to keep your child safe, it's always wise to seek guidance from someone who's qualified to assess them thoroughly.