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When to Call the Doctor

When to Call the Doctor

If your little one is feeling ill and you’re not completely sure what to do, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Sometimes it helps to get a second opinion to reassure your knowledge and instincts as a parent.


Here’s how to know if it’s time to call your child’s doctor:


For most kids, call your pediatrician if:

  • Your child is unusually fussy, sleepy, cranky, or quiet
  • Your child appears very sick
  • You are unable to lower your child's fever or your child develops other serious symptoms
  • The fever goes away for more than 24 hours and then returns
  • Your child has a fever for more than 72 hours
  • Your child is younger than 3 months with a rectal temperature above 100.1° F
  • Your child is 3 to 6 months with a rectal temperature above 101° F
  • Your child is 6 to 12 months with a rectal temperature above 103° F
  • Your child has a history of febrile seizures


Or if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • A stiff neck (unable to touch chin to chest)
  • Trouble breathing
  • Ear or sore throat pain
  • Your child has a seizure (arms and legs jerk uncontrollably)
  • Your child has a skin rash
  • Your child cries inconsolably
  • Your child is difficult to awaken


If you do call your child’s doctor, make sure to let them know which type (Infants', Children's, etc.) and strength of medicine you're giving to your child, if any. Also inform them if your child has any underlying risk factors that could cause further complications.

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