Pediatric Patients: When to Bring them to a Specialist

Is your child suffering from persistent coughs and colds? Or has he become weak-looking and lethargic due to decreased appetite?

Unlike adults, children (especially infants and younger children) often have difficulty expressing discomfort. Often, parents can only note that their child is behaving differently. Therefore, it is essential to visit a pediatric doctor in Lehi who can perform a comprehensive evaluation and management of your child’s condition.

Abdominal Pain

This symptom remains one of the most common reasons for seeking consult with a pediatrician. In younger patients who cannot describe their discomfort, parents would note persistent irritability, refusal to eat, or even vomiting and diarrhea. In most cases, the presence of diarrhea and vomiting suggests acute gastroenteritis, which may be due to eating food contaminated by viruses, bacteria or toxins. Without appropriate management, a child may develop dehydration from loss of fluids and inability to drink.

Fever and Rash

Persistent fever and rash often occur due to communicable viral illnesses. Evaluation by a doctor involves blood work to rule out other causes of the symptoms. Once the doctor reaches a diagnosis, he will prescribe various supportive measures to manage your child's symptoms. Antivirals are often not necessary, as viral illnesses will resolve spontaneously with adequate nutrition and rest, but your doctor may prescribe them if required.

Coughs and Colds

Persistent coughs and common colds are prevalent, especially during winter. Due to exposure to changing temperatures, the child’s immune system may weaken. Many over-the-counter medications are available to manage these conditions, but since the bodies of children metabolize drugs differently, specialists will adjust the dosage of these medications as necessary, depending on the child's weight and nutritional status to prevent both overdose and under dose.

The Bottom Line

Children are more prone to infections due to an underdeveloped immune system. Infants, toddlers, and school aged children also have a higher risk of medical complications due to untreated infections. Therefore, it is crucial to visit a specialist at the earliest sign of illness to ensure appropriate diagnosis and holistic management.