Aside from working at ACS, I also do pediatric telephone triage. One thing that I am always educating parents about is the importance of behavior with any pediatric illness. Children are very resilient.
When your child is sick and no longer “perks up” or is no longer playful, that is concerning. Your child should have at least 15 minutes of quiet play every 4 hours with a fever and 15 minutes of quiet play every 2 hours without a fever. For example, if your child has a fever and you notice that they are just laying around or crying, you can first try to give a fever reducer/pain reliever (Tylenol or Motrin). If after 1 hour, your child is still just “laying around” or crying, they would need to be seen. That would mean, even with medication, they still feel so bad that they cannot play or do some sort of quiet activity. For a teen that would be where they feel so bad they cannot text on their phone. Watching TV does not count as a quiet activity but playing on a tablet would because it involves “doing” something.
Without a fever an example of needing to be seen would be pain not relieved by medication. Examples of a medical emergency would be if you ever look at your child and they look like they are pulling in at the neck or chest with every breath or they are blue or unresponsive.
A normal body temperature is between 97.0-100.3F. A fever is any temperature that is 100.4F or higher. There are many reasons that kids get fevers. It could be from being over dressed or bundled. Also in younger kids, fevers can appear after immunizations. Fevers also arise due to
infections. In the instance of infections, your body is heating up to fight off the infection, which is not a bad thing. I know that fevers can be frightening to parents. The number of the fever isn’t as important as the behavior of your child. For example, if one child has a temperature of 100.4 and is not playful, is just laying around or very irritable and another child has a temperature of 103 but is still active and playing, the sicker child is the one with the lower temperature. Behavior is key. If your child has a fever but is still playful and acting “like their normal self” then you do not necessarily have to treat the fever with medications. But, if your child is having a change in behavior with the fever (sluggish, laying around, not playing or irritable) then give them a fever reducer. If after 1 hour, your child’s behavior has not improved then your child will need a medical exam. Something to note, any fever in a child less than 3 months old would require an immediate medical exam.
Since a fever can be the sign of an infection, there are restrictions regarding coming to school with a fever. At ACS, if your child has a fever (100.4 or higher), they are not permitted to return to school until they have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications (Tylenol or Motrin).
During these times with COVID-19, we are extra cautious and would request that if your child has a fever, sore throat, new or worsening cough, diarrhea/vomiting/abdominal pain, or severe headache then stay home from school and contact your child pediatrician.
God’s Medicine “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” Psalms 103:2-3
PINK EYE (CONJUNCTIVITIS)
Pink Eye can be passed by touching an infected person or something they have touched, like a used tissue. It can also be spread by sharing towels. A child with Pink Eye can spread it to the non-affected eye by rubbing it. The key to prevent the spread of Pink Eye is good Handwashing!
Symptoms of Pink Eye include the white part of the eye being red or pink, increasing drainage that is yellow or green and eye discomfort/itching. Bacterial Pink Eye is usually treated with eye drops. If your child complains of severe eye pain, they would need to be seen in an emergency department. Pink Eye can also cause swelling around the eye or a smooth redness around one eye, with or without fever. At that time, your child would need to be seen by your medical provider where an oral antibiotic may be necessary. For Pink Eye caused by allergies, an anti-allergy medication or drops may be given.
If your child wears contact lenses, they should not wear them until the infection is gone. If they are disposable, throw them away. If they are not, the contacts and the case need to be sanitized twice prior to reusing.
Call your Pediatrician if your child’s symptoms are not better 2-3 days after starting medication. Or, if your child has not been treated (like with viral Pink Eye) but symptoms last for 1 week or worsen.
SINUSITIS (SINUS INFECTION)
Your child has a cold lasting 7 days or longer or if the symptoms are not improving but are worsening.
Allergy medication is not helping when it normally does
Fever (temperature greater than 100.3)
Pain in the cheeks or around the eyes
Swelling around the eyes
- Sore throat
- Swollen tonsils
- Difficulty swallowing
- Abdominal pain
- Not all sore throats are strep, so if your child has any of the above symptoms they will need to see their pediatrician so that a throat swab can be done to determine if it is strep.