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Frederick County Pediatrics

Is Your Child Sick?

Our office offers same-day sick visits every day we are open.  Same-day sick visits are for “acute” conditions, such as possible strep throat, ear infection, ongoing cough, or other illnesses.  If your child has a more complex set of symptoms, such as stomach aches for several weeks, our staff will help you schedule our next available office visit to ensure our providers have enough time to diagnose and discuss treatment options.

  • How do I treat my child's fever?
    Fever is defined as a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher. Body temperature changes throughout the day and may be higher in the afternoon or evening. In older children, the most accurate way to measure temperature is with a thermometer under their tongue. For babies and younger children, taking a rectal temperature is the most accurate measurement. ​ Fever in general is not a medical emergency. Fever is a sign that one’s immune system is functioning well and responding to an illness process. A fever does not always require medication. ​ There are cases when a fever is more concerning: If your baby is less than 3 months old and has a fever over 100.4 (taken rectally), he or she needs to be examined. If an older child is listless, not drinking fluids, having trouble breathing, or has chronic medical concerns and has a fever, call our office for guidance. In most healthy children, fever can be a normal part of a viral infection. It can last 3 to 5 days. If a child does not have chronic medical concerns, is able to drink fluids normally, and is not having difficulty breathing, it is OK to monitor the fever at home for a few days. You may give children over 3 months of age Tylenol, and children over 6 months of age ibuprofen as needed. Please note: these medications may only reduce the fever and may not bring the temperature to normal. See our dosing chart for dosing levels. ​ If the fever persists, or for symptoms listed below, we will ask you to bring your child to be seen: Is your child not drinking fluids well? Are there symptoms of strep throat: sore throat, headache, abdominal pain, rash? Are there symptoms of a urinary tract infection, UTI: pain with urination, urinary frequency, vomiting, blood in urine? Symptoms of sinus infection: headache or sinus paid with 10-14 days of cough and congestion not improving? Symptoms of pneumonia: cough without nasal congestion, chest pain with cough, increased work of breathing? Symptoms of an ear infection: Ear pain, frequent waking at night with pain? Most importantly, always assess the child and not the number of their temperature. If a child looks concerning even if their fever is not high, please call our office.
  • Is it strep throat?
    What is strep throat? · Strep throat is an infection caused by bacteria. · It is most common in school-aged children during the winter and early spring. What are the symptoms? · Sore throat, fever, headache, stomach pain, nausea and/or vomiting · Some children also develop a fine, red, sandpaper-like rash. (Scarlet Fever) · Cough and runny nose are not seen with Strep throat – these are viral symptoms. How is Strep treated? · Your provider will prescribe an antibiotic. · Ensure that your child takes the antibiotic as directed, and for the full course to prevent the bacteria from coming back. What else can I do to help my child feel better? · Offer Tylenol or Ibuprofen as a fever-reducer or pain-reliever. · Keep your child well hydrated – Fluid intake is more important than eating solids. · Offer a soft diet. Also avoid foods that need much chewing. Avoid citrus, salty, or spicy foods. Cold or frozen foods are good choices too. · If you haven’t replaced your child’s toothbrush in the past 3 months, now is a good time. What to Expect: · Strep throat responds quickly to antibiotics. · The fever is usually gone by 24 hours. · The sore throat starts to feel better by 48 hours. When can my child return to school? · Your child can return to school after the fever is gone, and they have been on the antibiotic for at least 24 hours. Call Your Doctor If: · Trouble breathing or drooling occurs. · Dehydration suspected. · Rash develops after starting antibiotic. · Fever lasts more than 2 days after starting antibiotics. · Sore throat lasts more than 3 days after starting antibiotics. · You think your child is worse or you think they need to be seen.
  • Should I be concerned about my child's cough?
    Cough – The “Cliff Notes” Version ​ Questions We Ask: Duration of the cough Any signs or symptoms of respiratory distress How ill appearing is your child? Any associated symptoms, such as fever? Who needs to be seen today: Patients with significant chronic medical concerns Patients with fever (over 100.4) for more than 72 hours Patients with fever over 105 Patients with signs or symptoms of respiratory distress Babies under 3 months old Patients with a known history of asthma, RAD or wheezing who have been using albuterol for more than 24 – 48 hour and are not getting better or are having additional symptoms Cough that is persisting 2 or 3 weeks or longer Comfort Measures at Home: Use a cool mist humidifier Honey: Do not give honey to babies under one year—it is not safe. For children ages 1 to 5 years: Try half a teaspoon of honey. For children ages 6 to 11: Try one teaspoon of honey. For children 12 or older: Try two teaspoons of honey. If honey is given at bedtime, make sure your child’s teeth are brushed afterward. Water. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water
  • How do I treat my child's diaper rash?
    Try to refrain from using baby wipes and use plain water with a cloth. Add some baking soda to a warm bath and allow to soak, especially after having a bowel movement. Apply a thick layer of diaper cream. Then apply layer of Aquaphor, A&D, or Vaseline on top. The bottom layer helps to heal the skin, the top layer helps to wick away moisture.
  • I have concerns about vomting and diarrhea.
    VOMITING- ​ Low-grade fever is normal with GI bug With vomiting start with fluids low and slow Try to wait 20-30 minutes after vomiting episode to begin fluids Offer 1 tsp clear fluids (water, Gatorade, pedialyte) every 5 minutes Do not offer solid foods during this time Can slowly progress to larger amounts of fluids as they tolerate this Begin process from beginning if vomiting returns again Can slowly introduce bland diet after period of 6 hours with NO vomiting Start with something small and high in carbs: crackers, plain dry toast Slowly progress as tolerated-stick with bland BRAT diet for at least a day or so (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, crackers, plain pasta) Gradually return to normal diet-avoid fried foods, spicy foods, acidic foods, etc for at least several days Call the office if vomiting continues for more than 24 hours, has decreased alertness, or your child shows signs of dehydration (goes longer than 6-8 hours without urinating, has no tears with crying, or the inside of mouth feels sticky). ​ Diarrhea ​ Diarrhea normal with GI bug Can last 7-10 days but should taper off and improve-less frequent and begin to bulk up and become more firm Call the office if having more than 12 episodes of diarrhea per day, diarrhea does not start to taper off or improve toward the end of 7-10 day range, mucous in stool, or s/s of dehydration (see above)
  • How do I know if my child has Hand, Foot and Mouth?"
    What is Hand, Foot & Mouth, HFMD? Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common childhood illness and is caused by the coxsackie A-16 virus. Symptoms than may arise with HFMD include: Fever (100.4 or higher) Small, painful red spots (blisters) on hands, feet and mouth *Blisters may spread to arms, legs and faceThese symptoms typically arise 3 – 5 days after exposure to the virus. Fevers typically occur in the first few days, followed by blisters. Treatment Since HFMD is a viral disease, antibiotics are not needed. Symptoms of the virus that cause discomfort may be treated with over the counter medication, Tylenol or ibuprofen. See our dosing chart here. It is highly recommended that children drink lots of fluids; cold drinks soothe irritation in the mouth and help children stay hydrated. There is no special treatment for blisters; wash the skin per your normal routine with soap and mild water. Progression / What to Expect Fever may last 2 – 3 daysBlisters around the mouth may last up to 7 daysBlisters on the hands and feet can last up to 10 days. Peeling may occur during healing. Call our office if there are signs of dehydration, or if the fever (100.4 or higher) lasts more than 72 hours.Children can typically return to school or daycare after the fever has been gone for over 24 hours.
  • Does my child have the flu?
    The most common symptoms of the flu include fever (100.4 or higher), body aches, cough and congestion and malaise. While vomiting may occur, it is not a primary symptom. Symptoms usually appear quickly. ​ Treatment Treatment typically consists of comfort measures at home: lots of rest, lots of fluids, honey for cough and fever and paid reduction medications. What about Tamiflu? Tamiflu is an anti-viral medication and may be indicated if a child has flu or flu-like symptoms. Tamiflu does NOT kill the flu virus or cure flu symptoms. It has been shown to reduce duration of symptoms by about 24 hours. It stops the virus from making copies of itself; it is most effective when given within the first 48 hours of symptoms. The side effects can include significant vomiting and diarrhea.Tamiflu is a treatment option but is not a replacement for prevention with the flu vaccine. Prevention The flu vaccine is recommended every flu season, the earlier in the season the better. ALL children with egg allergy can safely receive the flu vaccine in any form.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the flu vaccine for all people ages 6 months and older, especially those with chronic medical concerns. The only people who should not receive the flu vaccine are those who have had an anaphylactic or serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past. Our office will offer the flu vaccine as early as it is available, usually mid-September. Please check with us for this year’s recommendations for type of vaccine.
  • What is a vaccine reaction?
    What You Should Know About Common Shot Reactions: Immunizations (vaccines) protect your child against serious diseases. Pain, redness and swelling are normal where the shot was given. Most symptoms start within the first 12 hours after the shot was given. Redness and fever starting on day 1 of the shot is always normal. All of these reactions mean the vaccine is working. Your child's body is making new antibodies to protect against the real disease. Most of these symptoms will only last 2 or 3 days. There is no need to see your doctor for normal reactions, such as redness or fever. Here is some care advice that should help. This info is directly from For more info regarding vaccine reactions, please visit*1bk8voi*_ga*ODk5MjgyMjYzLjE2MjkxMjI3NDc.*_ga_FD9D3XZVQQ*MTY0MTMwNDUxOS40LjAuMTY0MTMwNDUyMS4w
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