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6 Health Symptoms You Should Never Ignore in Children

Tim Boyer's picture
Child Health Symptoms

Does your child have a slight fever and/or a cough that comes and goes? Are these signs of something serious that require an immediate visit to the pediatrician, or something that you can monitor and treat at home? Such are everyday decisions parents have to make when it comes to safeguarding their child’s health. The question is, however, do you make the right decisions?

To help parents make the right decision Dr. Oz offers these 6 health symptoms in children that you should never ignore or try to treat at home by yourself:

Health Symptom #1: Your child’s body temperature

Every parent knows that 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the normal body temperature of both adults and children. And, that when a child comes home with a slight fever above this mark that it can be treated with bed rest and a typical over-the counter child fever reducer. But when is a high temp too high and in need of medical attention at a clinic or hospital? According to Dr. Oz the magic number is 104 and the time when a parent needs to pack up their child and get them to doctor immediately before their temp can get any higher and risk a medical emergency.

Health Symptom #2: The time of the day a child has a headache

Any parent can attest to the fact that having kids around can sometimes give you a headache 24/7. But what does it mean when your child has a headache? While the causes of headaches are numerous, Dr. Oz warns that the time of the day when this happens is a symptom parents need to pay attention to.

“Kids get a headache too, but the time of the day makes a difference,” says Dr. Oz explaining that if a child has a headache during the morning, afternoon or evening it is probably not so much to worry about. However, if it occurs during the night while in bed, then this could be a symptom of a true emergency such as a growing brain tumor that reveals itself through pain when a child lies down in bed and the pressure increases in their head. If your child experiences bedtime headaches, it’s time to seek medical help immediately.

Health Symptom #3: Your child’s rash type

Rashes in children are common, but rarely an emergency. Typical examples include diaper rash on an infant’s bottom, areas of the skin where rubbing and moisture such as under the arms and between the groin and inner thighs can become irritated, and contact dermatitis from touching certain plants or allergen-producing objects and animals. However, according to Dr. Oz, the appearance of some rashes could be indicative of a serious disease.

One example Dr. Oz tells parents to keep an eye out for is a rash on a child’s body that has a very characteristic “bull’s eye” pattern to it with a red ring of rash surrounding an inner red spot. He explains that this is a sign that your child has been bitten by a tick that has transmitted Lyme disease to him or her. If you see this type of rash on your child, you need to take him to a clinic right away so that he can get a proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

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Health Symptom #4: Is your child’s neck stiff?

A child often presents with some of the same symptoms regardless of the source of infection whether it be viral or bacterial. The symptoms may occur quickly or they may occur over a period of a few days with increasing severity. However, one symptom Dr. Oz tells parents to watch for is that of a stiff neck that may be indicative of either viral or bacterial meningitis—a potentially lethal infection that affects a child’s central nervous system.

One simple test to see if your child may have this is to check whether or not he or she can touch their chin to their chest. If your child has meningitis he or she will not be able to bend their neck due to stiffness and pain. If your child shows typical signs and symptoms of a flu or cold with a stiff neck, you must take them to an emergency room immediately.

Health Symptom #5: Your child’s cuts and scrapes

When is it time to get stitches to help heal that cut your child may have gotten from the playground? Whenever you can see tissue such as white fat or the deeper muscle below advises Dr. Oz.

While small, shallow, open cuts and scrapes can heal on their own with just a little antibacterial ointment and a band aid, deeper wounds need stitches to not only hasten the healing process, but more importantly to protect against the risk of an infection that can get inside the body and cause blood poisoning—a condition called septicemia.

Health Symptom #6: Vomiting and diarrhea

“This is actually the most dangerous problem around the world,” says Dr. Oz pointing out the fact that excessive vomiting and diarrhea in children can lead to severe dehydration very quickly.

Dr. Oz advises parents to watch for signs of dehydration such as fewer trips to the bathroom, dry mouth and dry eyes when crying while sick. Often when a child is sick and is vomiting, he or she cannot stomach drinking any fluids and can then become so dehydrated that they will require an IV at a hospital to rehydrate their little bodies.

To help keep you and your children healthy this fall by avoiding the flu, click-on the titled links, “Avoid the Cold & Flu This Winter with Dr. Oz's 4 Natural Immunity Boosting Solutions” and “How to Overcome a Child's Fear of Flu Shots.”

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Reference: The Dr. Oz Show