When You Should Call 911
When you can't get in contact with your pediatrician, head to the ER if your child displays any of the following symptoms, says Francisco Medina, MD, associate medical director of the emergency department at Baptist Children's Hospital, in Miami. If your kid displays more than one symptom, immediately call 911.
Symptoms include: Slurred or garbled speech, inability to walk straight or stand up, limpness, extreme lethargy, or a blue-tinged complexion.
Possible causes: Bacterial infection, head trauma.
Symptoms include: Inability to breathe, abnormal breathing sounds or the rib muscles retract with each breath.
Possible causes: Asthma or severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia.
Symptoms include: A very fast or very weak pulse, skin that turns purple, red, blue, or completely pale. Another concern: A white spot shouldn't linger on the palm after it has been pressed; normally, color quickly returns.
Possible causes: Bacterial infection or dehydration.
Cynthia Ramnarace, a freelance writer, lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, March 2006.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.