Kids’ Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

Most kids will go through what doctors call the usual childhood illnesses: flu, ear infections, and random colds. Much of the time, your child’s symptoms will not be worrisome. Yet, there are certain symptoms you should never ignore. If your child displays one of these symptoms, it is best to call the doctor right away.

Excessive Vomiting

Vomiting that lasts more than 24 hours warrants a trip to the doctor, especially if your child also has diarrhea or a fever. After the cycle of vomiting has slowed, wait for an hour, and then give him or her clear liquids (clear soda and Popsicles are recommended). If the liquid stays down for 15 minutes, keep giving fluids in small doses. If your child still is not keeping fluids down, call the doctor; dehydration is quicker and more deadly in children than adults.

Excessive Sleepiness After Injury

Generally, kids will remember an injury at school, but if they are caught up in a fun game of kick ball, that detail may be forgotten. Pay attention if they become more than usually tired. Excessive sleep, coupled with confusion, could be signs of a head injury, seizure disorder, or other serious condition.


Bring an infant to the doctor if his or her fever is over 100 degrees—no exceptions. In older children, the doctor should be called if the fever is 104 or higher. In fact, your doctor may send you to the ER, especially if your child’s fever is accompanied by difficulty breathing, dehydration, or abdominal pain. Because fever can dehydrate a body quickly, keep offering small amounts of fluid.

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