Hello, and welcome to the first newsletter for Simplicity Urgent Care, a neighborhood center that is open evenings and weekends, and never requires on appointment.
Located at 3263 Columbia Pike in Arlington, our goal is to provide a medical center where you can see a doctor any day of the week whether you have insurance or not.
From treating sore throats and cold-and-flu symptoms to cuts and abrasions, strains and sprains, and urinary tract infections, the doctors on our staff provide fast, friendly care, as well as immunizations, X-rays, drug screenings, travel medicine, and more.
As ER doctors who have specialized in pediatrics at some of the largest hospitals in the country, we have learned from our patients that the best way to provide good medical care is to keep things as simple possible for the patient. Making healthcare easier is our goal, and it applies to everything we do.
In each of our monthly newsletters you'll find medical tips, meet our staff, and learn more about health care from a doctor's point of view.
What Should You Do When Your Child Has a High Fever?
By Dr. John Jones
Simplicity Urgent Care
It always seems to happen at 6 p.m. You left your happy, healthy baby at the daycare center this morning, and now you have a cranky baby with a runny nose, cough, and a fever. Since your pediatrician's office is closed for the day, you know you can wait until morning to see a doctor, or take your child to the emergency department or urgent care center. But are you overreacting?
From a doctor's point of view, here are some suggestions on what to do.
1. First and foremost, it is never wrong to take your child to the emergency room or an urgent care center like Simplicity. As an Emergency Room doctor by day, I can tell you that is what we are there for. Trust your parental instincts because you know in your gut when something is wrong with your kid.
2. Once you get there: With children and fever, pediatric emergency physicians divide children into three groups 2 months and under, 2 months to 6 months, and 6 months and above. The grouping is based on the number of vaccinations the child has received, with the older children having enough protection against the Strep and H Flu and the younger ones at increased risk of contracting these bacterial illnesses.
• If your child is 2 months and under and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 or greater, the baby automatically gets a comprehensive work-up and spends the next two days in the hospital for observation.
• For children who are 2 to 6 months, the child will receive a work-up; however, if the lab results are normal, the child can go home with close follow-up with their pediatrician in the morning.
• For children who are 6 months and above, the work-up will depend on the child's symptoms and how sick the child looks to an experienced pediatric provider. Don't be surprised if your doctor does a complete physical exam, feels that a virus causes the fever, and sends you home with no antibiotics. This is standard and good medicine because it decreases the chances of allergies, diarrhea, and antibiotic resistance in your child.
3. About fever: Worried parents often ask me, "If my child's fever skyrockets to 104, what should I do?" I always reassure them that a relatively high fever in a small child is not harmful because raising the body's temperature is its method of fighting off infections. In some countries, in fact, doctors do not advise using ibuprofen or acetaminophen because they want to let the fever take its course.
In the United States, we advise taking antipyretics (Tylenol or Motrin), which knocks down the fever and keeps both the children and their parents happy. I usually advise parents to stick with Motrin because a dose lasts for eight hours. In my house, my wife who is also a doctor and I try to avoid the medicine battle with our kids at all costs. To minimize the frequency of giving medications when our little ones are sick, we usually opt to give them Children's Motrin.
4. When determining the proper dose of Children's Tylenol or Children's Motrin, be sure to administer the proper amount based on your child's weight not their age. Even a small amount under the required dosage based on weight will render the entire dose ineffective.
For rules of thumb for administering Motrin, and to read more of my article in my monthly column on Be Inkandescent Magazine, click here.
If you have any questions, please contact your pediatrician, or feel free to stop by Simplicity Urgent Care at 3263 Columbia Pike in Arlington.