Childhood Non-Emergency Problems

Abdominal (Stomach) Pain

Any pain in the abdomen is a cause for concern, though not necessarily alarming. Consult us if it appears significant or persistent.


Asthma is a disorder in which the airway bronchial tubes narrow from time to time, causing the child to have difficulty in breathing. It is characterized by wheezing on breathing out. Asthma may be triggered by emotional or environmental factors or infection. A child having an asthma attack requires immediate treatment to relieve his/her bronchial spasms and long-range care to find the cause. Begin his/her usual medication and encourage fluid intake. Call if no relief or if the condition worsens.


Runny or Congested Nose with or Without Cough

Nose drops are often helpful if used four times a day for about 3 days. We prefer saline for infants less than 3 months and Neosynephrine for older infants and toddlers. Use several drops of saline in each side of the nose followed by suctioning thoroughly with a bulb syringe. Children’s cough medicine or a non-prescription antihistamine may be helpful to older children. If fever lasts 24 hours the office should be notified or if difficulty in breathing is encountered, please contact us. Saline nose drops may be made by adding 1/4 tsp. of salt to 8oz. of water.

Medications: The instructions as well as names of medication should always be on each prescription. Antibiotics are not prescribed for routine colds or viral infections. If the child is ill enough for an antibiotic, he/she will need to be seen. Antibiotics should be used until the bottle is empty, unless you are otherwise advised. Antibiotics should never be used from a previous illness or from another person’s illness.


Over the counter cough medicines, such a Robitussin may be helpful. For high fever with severe cough, call the office.


Croup is a loud, deep, dry cough often coupled with breathing difficulties, characterized by a “crowing” sound on breathing in. You can help your child breathe easier by steaming your bathroom with hot water in the shower. Stay with your child for half an hour or so. Croup with fever (greater than 102) is more serious than croup without. We should examine your child if your are concerned about the severity of your child’s illness.

Diarrhea or Vomiting

When vomiting occurs stop giving solid food and milk. Small amounts of Pedialyte, Gatorade, 7-Up, Kool – Aid, tea and cola may help relax the stomach also. Soup broth given frequently is often helpful. For diarrhea, it is helpful to put your child on Pedialyte for 12-14 hours followed by a bland diet of bananas, jello, cereal and grated apple.


Earaches are common from infancy to six or seven years of age. Most but not all, follow a stuffy nose. If an infant rubs his ear or cries incessantly when he has a cold, especially at night, suspect an earache. Your pediatrician should examine your child to correctly treat the earache and protect your child’s hearing. Please call the appointment desk at 8:30 a.m. to schedule an appointment.


Fever is the body’s response to an infection or illness and not an illness itself. Therefore it does not always need to be treated. Generally a temperature greater than 102 degrees rectally should be treated with medicines, such as Tylenol every 4 hours.

If the temperature reaches 105 degrees in a child below the age of 4 years the child should be sponged (do not immerse) in tepid water in a shallow bathtub, to bring the fever down to 103 degrees or below. Your efforts to bring down the fever should be particularly aggressive in children with a history of seizures or if there is a family history of convulsions. Encourage the child with the fever to take fluids. Minimal amount of clothing and blankets should be used. Call if fever is not responsive to these measures.


Children commonly have nosebleeds. If bleeding continues after simple first-aid measures, such as constant pressure on the bleeding nostril for several (5-10) minutes and an ice bag, call the office.


Pinworms are a common infection among children and are not a social disgrace. Treatment for pinworms is generally prescribed for the whole family. If you note pinworms in your child, please call the office during office hours.

Sore Throat and Enlarged Nodes

When sore throat is encountered, and the child runs a fever for over 24 hours or seems unduly sick the first day, it may be necessary to see the child in the office and obtain a throat culture to determine the cause of the illness.

Strep infections in the throat should be fully treated with antibiotics. Lozenges may bring relief to the sore throat and allow the child to take fluids and rest more comfortably.