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When Illness Strikes Your Child, Count on Same-Day Appointments


by HEATHER MCKENTLY, MD, FAAP

A cold or similar virus for a child is not treated the same way as an adult.  As parents, when our children are sick, our immediate instinct is to get them seen by a doctor.  While not all viruses call for a doctor visit, some can cause concern. Here are some friendly reminders that will help you make your child comfortable and, if necessary, seen by a doctor:

  • When fever strikes, which can happen for a child with a cold, keep him at home.  For fevers of 100.4 degrees or above, you may want to give your child an over-the-counter medication, such as Children’s Tylenol, to relieve his symptoms.  For fevers that go above 102 degrees and last for more than two or three days, you should call a doctor to make an appointment.
  • When giving other medications, always choose over-the-counter medicines that are just for children and follow the label instructions for age and weight.  Avoid administering medications that are multi-symptom if your child does not have those ailments. For example, if your young one has a fever and a stuffy nose, but no cough, do not give him a multi-symptom medication that is meant to treat a cough.
  • Rest and hydration are key!  For children with a virus, resist the temptation to let them do too much while their body is fighting the illness.  A child may “feel better” while Tylenol is in his or her system, but rest and water are important in helping your child make a complete and quick recovery.

Again, a virus— especially one accompanied by a fever— can be very nerve wracking for us as parents.  If you ever feel in doubt, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our pediatricians leave a part of their daily schedules open so you can depend on us when you need it the most.  Of course, you still have the option to schedule your appointment in advance, but when illness strikes, you can count on us for same-day appointments. To speak with our care team or to make an appointment, call (866) 234-8534.

This column is sponsored by Central Florida Health Care, Inc., and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.

BIO: Dr. Heather McKently is Central Florida Health Care, Inc’s Chief of Pediatrics and a practicing pediatrician, currently serving patients at our Lake Wales location.  To make an appointment with Dr. McKently or any of our medical team at one of our 12 locations, call (866) 234-8534. Visit cfhconline.org for more information.