What to do when your child is sick
When your child is ill, it is natural to worry and want to seek immediate care. We can help. The first step is to call us so we can hear your concerns and help you determine the next steps. We are available by phone 24/7 for urgent matters. If our office is closed, a nurse or doctor is on-call and available to advise you.
Same-Day Sick Visits: We have spaces reserved for children who need to be seen for an acute illness during office hours. Symptoms may include:
- A fever that lasts several days, is unusually high, or has certain associated symptoms
- Ear pain, drainage from the ear, or ear pulling
- Prolonged sore throat with or without white patches on the tonsils
- Severe abdominal pain
- Sports injuries
- Trouble with or pain urinating
- Difficulty breathing; in severe instances, go straight to the ER
If we feel you do not need to be seen right away, you may be asked to monitor your child and call back with an update if the symptoms do not improve.
Urgent Care Centers: These centers can be useful after hours or on weekends when an issue can’t wait. However, it is important to touch base with us first to see if a visit is necessary. We know your child’s health history. Urgent care staff may have minimal training in pediatrics and may not be comfortable treating infants and young children for anything beyond the simplest of ailments. If your health concern is not urgent, we may advise you to wait to be seen in our office the next business day.
Emergency Room: Sparing yourself and your child an unnecessary trip to the ER is not just a matter of convenience. A visit to the ER can expose your already sick child to hospital germs and other infections carried by fellow ER visitors. In addition, ER care is generally more expensive and you may find yourself waiting several hours. However, we recommend going to the ER when any of the following issues arise:
- Fever of 100.4 Fahrenheit or higher in a child under 2 months
- A severe injury such as a broken bone, laceration, or burn
- Significant head injury, especially if associated with vomiting or child is not behaving normally
- A seizure
- Signs of dehydration, such as very dry lips and mouth, absence of urination for more than 12 hours, lethargy, and confusion
- Heavy, fast breathing, gasping for air, or trouble speaking
- Impaired mental state – dazed, confused, or unlike himself/herself
As a rule, if your child is able to walk, talk, interact and play, chances are that whatever he or she has is not an emergency.
You want what is best for your child and so do we. Call us so we can discuss your child’s health and guide you in seeking care.
New Britain: (860) 224-6282
Newington: (860) 666-5167
Plainville: (860) 747-1132
Monday – Friday: 8:30am–5pm