YOUR BABY IS SICK: GP OR PAED?

Your Baby & Toddler - - Baby Files -

Once you have es­tab­lished a re­la­tion­ship with both a GP and a pae­di­a­tri­cian, then know­ing who to take your child to when she is not feel­ing great is easy. The gen­eral rule of thumb, says GP and mom of three girls, Dr Jess Med­dows-tay­lor, is as fol­lows:

If your baby is six weeks old or younger and has a rash, a tem­per­a­ture over 39°C, vom­it­ing or di­ar­rhoea, seems to have dif­fi­culty in breath­ing, is lethar­gic or agi­tated and has missed more than one feed (not had a feed in eight hours), then take her di­rectly to your paed. Very young ba­bies can de­te­ri­o­rate very quickly, and go­ing through your GP may waste valu­able time in th­ese in­stances.

If your baby is older than six weeks then call your GP first. Your GP should be able to give you a tele­phonic con­sul­ta­tion and ad­vise you if your child will need to go to the paed or come in for a GP ap­point­ment.

If your child has been in­volved in an emer­gency such as an ac­ci­dent, is chok­ing, has se­vere cuts, or has im­paled her­self on some­thing, then you need to go im­me­di­ately to your clos­est hospi­tal ca­su­alty, prefer­ably one with a paed on call. Paeds are not sur­geons, so will not be able to help in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

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