Story by: Kim Huston on February 23, 2021
It’s the middle of the night, and your child seems agitated and isn’t feeling well. You think: “My child is sick. Do I call the doctor? Do I wait until the morning?” Many new and veteran parents will face a situation like this as their child grows. Here are some guidelines to follow to help you know when to call your pediatrician, day or night.
Don’t worry if it’s late at night or you’re worried that it’s a silly question.
“If you’re concerned your child is sick, I think most pediatricians would want to help lessen a child’s discomfort and get them the right care sooner rather than later,” said Taunya Jasper, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Frankfort. “If you wait to call, your child’s symptoms could worsen.”
Plus, it’s now more common for pediatrician practices to have after-hours phone lines for those late-night calls. Norton Children’s Medical Group, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, has an after-hours phone line available for current patient families to get their questions answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our licensed nurses answering the phone can guide parents to the correct care, day or night. They can provide guidance on managing symptoms, whether you need to come into the pediatrician’s office the next day or go straight to the emergency department.
“We want our families to call when they have questions or if they’re second-guessing what they should do about a child’s symptoms,” Dr. Jasper said. “Getting an answer from a trusted health care provider may help ease any worries you have and get your child the care they need faster.”
Find a pediatrician
You may want to consider calling your pediatrician about symptoms including:
According to Dr. Jasper, it’s important for parents to trust their instincts, but a good rule of thumb is to pay attention to a child’s symptoms. Are they getting worse? Has your child’s disposition changed?
“Parents know their child best,” Dr. Jasper said. “If you have any concerns, day or night, you should call your pediatrician.”