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How Sick is Too Sick?

11/25/2014 06:32PM ● Published by Hood Magazine

By Alyssa Kuecker, Avera Health  

 

Before she even rounds the hallway corner, you can hear the coughs and sniffles. It’s 7:30 am on a Tuesday in the middle of the hustle and bustle of preparing for work and school. Is she OK enough to attend school or daycare, or should you reroute your day and send her back to bed?

Nicholas Torbert, DO, a Pediatrician with Avera Medical Group McGreevy 7th Avenue, helps parents make these stat decisions about a sick child. “Apart from assessing whether your child looks emergently ill, typically one of the best first steps is asking your child about what he or she is experiencing,” says Dr. Torbert.

These questions are quite simple: “What is hurting right now? Is it your head/tummy/throat? Have you thrown up or gone to the bathroom too many times?”

“Even as physicians, we feel that just getting the history of an illness is one of the most critical parts of making a diagnosis,” says Dr. Torbert.

Dr. Torbert also recommends watching to see if your child is drinking normally, urinating as much as usual, breathing easily, displaying any different behaviors, or is running a fever.

If your child has had a high fever for 24 hours, has been up all or most of the night, has vomited or had diarrhea, or has been diagnosed with an illness by a doctor, you should keep him/her home. Especially in cases of influenza, strep throat, mono or any contagious condition, call school or childcare to inform them your child won’t be attending. 

Dr. Torbert strongly encourages parents to take their child to the doctor if the symptoms seem to be worsening. Visit your family doctor or pediatrician if:

  • You feel uncomfortable about a certain symptom
  • You have questions about your child’s health
  • A high fever has lasted longer than two days
  • You suspect your child is dehydrated, and urinating less than usual
  • You notice changes in behavior, especially those that alarm you
  • Your child is having difficulty breathing
  • There’s blood present in your child’s vomit or diarrhea
  • There’s drainage in your child’s ear
  • Vomiting or diarrhea persists for more than two days

 

If your child reports feeling ill, but isn’t displaying symptoms, Dr. Torbert says it’s generally OK to send him/her to school. But call the school nurse and office to alert them of your child’s morning complaints. Request an immediate update if there are any changes in your child’s wellness or behavior. Ask if you can send along cough drops (depending on your child’s age) and a water bottle so your child can drink plenty of fluids and accompany these items with a note to avoid any misunderstanding.

Health, Parenting, Family illness
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  • Toddler Jump

    01/31/2018
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Join us for one of the highlights of our week, Toddler Jump at Air Madness. During Toddler Jump, ...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    01/31/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • Open Hockey

    01/31/2018
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Open Hockey Monday & Wednesdays 11-1:00 pm Friday 2:00-4:00 pm $10.00 - per session $100 -...


  • Scheel's Family Open Ice Skate

    01/31/2018
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Scheel's Family Open Ice Skate Open Skate Rates: Admission – $6.00 $4.00 for ages 12 and under...


  • Discount Skate Night

    01/31/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Skate for $1.00 an hour every Wednesday during our Discount Skate Night! Wednesdays • 6-9pm A...


  • Open Skate Discount Night

    01/31/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Open skating session for all ages at a discounted rate! Admission is $3. Regular skate rental fee...


  • A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER

    01/31/2018
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead ...


  • Tot Time

    02/01/2018
    05:30AM — 10:30AM

    Tot time is designed for toddlers and other little tikes, 6 years and younger, who may not be com...


  • Walking Program

    02/01/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/01/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Skyzone Toddler Time

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to di...


  • Toddler Time

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to di...


  • Little All Stars

    02/01/2018
    10:00AM — 10:50AM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Wee Play & Learn

    02/01/2018
    10:00AM — 11:15AM

    Come with your child to play, meet other families, and talk one-on-one with child development exp...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/01/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • New Baby & Me

    02/01/2018
    01:30PM — 03:30PM

    This group for new moms and their babies meets weekly. Moms can join in open discussion on topics...


  • Creative Kids

    02/01/2018
    03:15PM — 04:00PM

    Elementary-aged children are invited to join us for books, activities, and a craft. For more info...


  • S.T.E.A.M. -N- Thursdays

    02/01/2018
    03:30PM — 04:15PM

    Discover science, technology, engineering, art and math through activities. This month's theme: S...


  • A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER

    02/01/2018
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead ...


  • Walking Program

    02/02/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/02/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/02/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • First Free Friday

    02/02/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for Free First Fridays, whether you are new to the area, new to the Pavilion, or even a r...


  • Little All Stars

    02/02/2018
    06:30PM — 07:20PM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Teen Night at Skate City

    02/02/2018
    08:00PM — 11:00PM

    This session is directed toward, but not reserved for, middle to high school aged skaters.