Dr. Ellen Lestz sat down with the health team at the Journal News to provide tips for parents when caring for a sick child.
When is the best time to see the doctor?
Dr. Ellen Lestz is a pediatrician in the Urgent Care Center located at White Plains Hospital Medical & Wellness in Armonk. As detailed by her and the Journal News recently, the doctor’s first piece of advice?
"When you need to see a pediatrician, keep in mind that the best time for appointments is in the morning; after-school hours (after 3 p.m.) are the busiest."
And, she adds, "come to the appointment with a written list of questions because things are often forgotten in the moment."
Symptoms are usually worse in the a.m.
"Try to wait a little before coming to the doctor for a runny nose and/or sore throat. These symptoms are often worse in the morning and may resolve as the day goes on. In addition, a throat culture may come back with a negative result if tested too early in the illness. Give your child Tylenol and make sure he or she is hydrated (don’t worry if their appetite is down, this is normal with an illness – as long as they’re hydrated). Plan to come in if symptoms persist or worsen or if fever develops."
What about school physicals?
"Make sure to have physicals up to date and school forms for the nurse and make sure all specialist forms are updated as well, such as an allergist for a child with food allergies."
When is vomiting a serious issue?
"If your child is vomiting, do not offer them full cups of liquid – we tend to do this because we are worried about dehydration – but drinking a lot of fluid at once could actually worsen the vomiting. Offer small sips at frequent intervals – ice pops are also a great option. Call the doctor if the vomiting persists and the child cannot keep anything down. For diarrhea, do not give milk products as these are difficult to digest and will worsen the diarrhea or delay resolution of the illness."
Learn more about pediatric care at White Plains Hospital. Find a physician or call 914-849-MyMD to speak with an advisor.