How To Know If Your Child Needs A Doc Or The ER

Dr. Andrew Garner’s advice on childhood illness

(MADISON SEMARJIAN, CLEVELAND MAGAZINE) Most of the time your toddler is happy and healthy. But what do you do when they come down with the sniffles? Instead of spiraling into a panic, Dr. Andrew Garner, a general pediatrician at University Hospitals, offers advice on when it’s time to give the doc a call or head to the emergency room.

Persistent fever: If your child has flu-like symptoms with a persistent fever above 102 degrees, it’s time to go beyond chicken noodle soup and head to the doctor’s office. (Infants 3-months-old and younger with a persistent fever should be seen by a doctor right away.)

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“Fever itself is not likely to hurt your child,” explains Garner. “However, it’s the immune system’s response to something that could be potentially harmful.”

Lingering cough: Coughing in little kids is a reflex, usually to clear secretions from the chest, explains Garner. Like a fever, a cough is a symptom of an underlying problem. Your primary care doctor can help determine why the cough is overstaying its welcome and if professional help is needed to kick it out the door.

“A lot of the time it’s post-nasal drip running down the throat, maybe caused by an ear infection,” he explains.  READ THE FULL STORY AT CLEVELAND MAGAZINE