One of the most stressful situations for a parent, or any person in general, is handling a sick child. When your kid feels unwell and won’t eat, you have to think about whether or not to take them to urgent care.
There are many factors regarding this question, and it’s important that you ask yourself the right questions when trying to determine the best course of action.
Should you take your child who isn’t eating to urgent care? It is a query that many parents often wonder about, involving multiple answers. Fortunately, we will address all of those possible outcomes and how you should act if your child isn’t eating.
Possible Reasons Your Child Isn’t Eating
There are many causes behind a child who isn’t eating. Some of them are:
- Virus: Your child might have an infection of the mouth, throat, or stomach that may or may not have been caused by a virus. While it’s true that some viruses will cause acute illness in older children, they do not cause any symptoms in babies younger than three months old.
- Food Allergy: This is an allergy to a type of food your child eats, characterized by rashes or hives. Food allergies are usually diagnosed by a food allergy blood test, although your doctor may do an allergy skin test.
- Gastroenteritis: This is an inflammation of the stomach, intestines, and esophagus due to poorly digested or contaminated food. The main symptoms of gastroenteritis include diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.
- Gastritis: This is an inflammation of the stomach as a result of acid reflux, which is when stomach acid leaks from the stomach into the esophagus. Gastritis is usually characterized by stomach pain, heartburn, and acid reflux (the feeling of burping).
- Constipation: This is a condition where the bowels do not empty well, and waste builds up in the colon. Constipation can come from various sources, such as not having enough fiber in the diet, being dehydrated, and having poor muscle tone.
- Medication: Some medications will cause a child to lose their appetite. If they take medicine known to cause anorexia, the parent will be notified of this.
When to Go to Urgent Care
When your child has these symptoms and is vomiting or has diarrhea, it may be gastroenteritis or a stomach virus. You should bring your child to urgent care if:
- Your child has been vomiting or having diarrhea for over forty-eight hours.
- Your child has a fever of over 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Your child is crying in pain or has a very swollen stomach.
- Your child has blood in their vomit or stool.
- Your child has been vomiting yellow green stool or has a very foul-smelling stool.
- Your child is dehydrated.
Know What to Do
After running through all of the considerations outlined above, it is clear that there are many factors to consider before deciding to take your child to urgent care. During similar situations, the best course of action is to take your child to see a healthcare provider before things get worse.