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Make an appointment or call the nurse? Guidelines to help your little ones when they're sick.

So your child is sick - do you make an appointment, or call the triage nurse for advice on how you can help your child at home or if it's the weekend - come to the walk-in clinic?

There are recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics that help parents know when a well visit or annual check-up is due. Sick visits? They can be a grey area. How sick is sick enough to warrant a doctor visit? When is an illness minor enough that it can be treated at home with a little T.L.C. and patience?

Here are some some basic guidelines on what to do - and when to  do it.

Sick Child Taking Temperature

Already know your child needs a sick visit? Call 317-621-9000 for a scheduled appointment time Monday-Friday.  If it's the weekend, visit the walk-in sick clinic.
. See website for locations and hours

When it’s time to call the office for an appointment

Sick childThe American Academy of Pediatrics has the following guidelines. If your child is experiencing these symptoms, call and schedule an appointment:
  • Vomiting and diarrhea that last for more than a few hours in a child of any age
  • Rash, especially if there is also a fever
  • Any cough or cold that does not get better in several days, or a cold that gets worse and is accompanied by a fever  
  • Cuts that might need stitches
  • Limping or is not able to move an arm or leg
  • Ear pain with fever, inability to sleep or drink, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Drainage from an ear  
  • Severe sore throat or problems swallowing
  • Sharp or persistent pains in the abdomen or stomach
  • Pain that gets worse or does not go away after several hours
  • A rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher in a baby younger than 2 months
  • Fever and repeated vomiting at the same time
  • Blood in the urine
  • Bloody diarrhea or diarrhea that will not go away
  • Not drinking for more than 12 hours
Learn more from the AAP regarding common child illness symptoms and when they warrant medical care

If you are looking for homecare advice

sick boy playing doctor Our triage line is open from 7:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Monday-Friday. Our nurses have a list of questions they ask parents to help assess a child’s needs. To get your answers as quick as possible, please have the answers to the questions below before you call.

  1. What are your child’s symptoms and how long have they not been feeling well?
  2. Do they have a fever? We need an actual temperature reading. Temperature should be taken before any medication (Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen) is given.
  3. Are they eating or drinking?
  4. Activity level: Are they playful, up and moving around, sleeping (more or less)?

    Check out our app NP PEDS MD for further information and home care advice.

Baby girl with pony tail in white