Since most illnesses in infants and children do not represent "urgent emergencies", I have listed many (but not all) worrisome symptoms that should prompt an immediate page, office call, or in some cases 911 call:
Urgent Emergencies Include the Following:
- An infant or child who is very lethargic defined as not responding normally with little or no eye contact. A child who can point to a toy, answer a question, and put up some resistance may be listless, but is not considered lethargic.
- Vomiting many times in a row(3-5 episodes) should prompt a page.
- A child who has severe, unremitting and constant abdominal pain after several hours should prompt a page.
- A child who has a seizure - rythmic large movements of arms and legs with eyes rolling followed by sleepiness should prompt a page or a call to 911.
- Any type of breathing distress should prompt a page.
- Any color changes(i.e., blue) should prompt a page and 911.
- An unconscious child should prompt 911 and a page.
- After a fall or head injury, failure to use a body part normally as well as any symptom listed above should prompt a page or 911.
- An injury resulting in an open wound or laceration.