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Babies cannot tell us when they are extremely sick and new parents may not know when what seems like a minor issue is actually something a pediatrician needs to address. A minor problem in an infant or small child can become serious quickly. These four symptoms help you to understand your young child a little bit more and to help you know when you need to seek the help of your pediatrician. While these signs are not a “catch-all” when it comes to your baby, they are a good start. As always, reach out to a professional for more ideas and knowledge about your baby’s health.


A child under the age of three months should be taken to the doctor if they have a temperature of 101 or higher. Always take your child’s temperature as it helps your doctor to see the bigger picture when you can give them something other than they “feel warm.” A fever itself, even in a newborn, is not necessarily dangerous, but it can be the only symptom of a bacterial infection or other things that are much more severe.

Children over the age of three months can handle fevers as high as 104 degrees. A fever that lasts more than 24 hours and does not respond to fever medication should be checked. You can also use how your child acts with a fever as a barometer for when to take them to the doctor. A normally active child who is lethargic with a fever may need to visit the pediatrician, like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.

Vomiting or Diarrhea

Although vomiting and diarrhea are common ailments in children, but vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration fairly quickly in infants and toddlers. In fact, an infant can become dehydrated in under 12 hours. Monitor your child and contact your doctor immediately if the vomiting becomes more severe or if your child is vomiting up blood or bile.

Difficulty Breathing

When infants have difficulty breathing, they will inhale and exhale quickly. The center of their chest sinks in and you may notice the space between their ribs being pulled with each breath. If this happens, seek medical attention immediately. Often times in infants, severe infections won’t cause the body to break out into a fever but will make it harder for them to breathe. Your child’s breathing is a good indication of their health status.

Headache in Small Child

Headaches in small children can be rare, so if your child keeps holding their head repeatedly using words that indicate they are in pain, it could indicate a headache and a need to contact a doctor. Although babies cannot tell you when they have a headache, inconsolable crying can indicate headache among a number of other ailments. Any time your child cries and they become inconsolable, and you are unable to discern a reason for it, you should contact your pediatrician.

Children of all ages get sick and when they are very young, but it is difficult for them to tell you what they are feeling. These are four signs to help you understand the needs of your child and to help you know when to reach out to your pediatrician. For more ideas on how to know when your child needs medical care, reach out to your pediatrician or your pediatrician’s nurse. They are there to answer all of your questions so that you will be able to best take care of your child.