YOUR BABY IS SICK: GP OR PAED?
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.