When to Contact a Doctor After Office Hours
Parents often will wonder when it is appropriate to call the doctor on call versus waiting to call the office in the morning during business hours. Our goal at Montgomery Pediatrics is to make sure your children are safe and cared for. When a true emergency presents itself, we want to be there for you.
If your child is experiencing an emergency, call 911 prior to contacting the doctor on call. In these cases we want to be sure that your child gets immediate medical attention.
If you are uncertain whether your child needs immediate medical attention or not, then a call to the on-call doctor is appropriate, and we would be happy to assist you. Please note that without examining your child, we are unable to provide medical treatment over the phone (such as ordering tests or calling in antibiotics). So, if you have a non-urgent concern and you feel confident that your child does not require immediate medical attention, then we would encourage you to call our office in the morning during our regular business hours.
A note on fever:
- Fever often scares parents but in most cases it is not an emergency. However, if your child is under 2 months of age and has a fever of 100.4*F rectally it will be recommended that they present to the Emergency Room for further work up and evaluation. Please refer to this article on when you can treat fever at home versus when your doctor needs to know about it immediately: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/fever/Pages/Fever-Without-Fear.aspx
- Please see the tab on our website under “Resources” titled “Dosages” for appropriate dose per weight of Tylenol and Motrin
- Please know that the doctor on call will NOT call-in antibiotics over the phone.
The following are situations in which a call to 911/ immediate ER evaluation would be recommended.
This list is not all inclusive.
- Rhythmical, repeated jerking and loss of consciousness
- A serious injury from a fall or other type of accident – especially head injuries that involve loss of consciousness, confusion, worsening headache, or multiple episodes of vomiting.
- Gaping wounds – if the edges of a cut do not meet, your child will likely need stitches as soon as possible
- Bleeding that does not stop with pressure applied after 20 minutes or bleeding that cannot be controlled.
- Skin or lips that look blue, purple, or gray.
- Persistent and worsening abdominal pain.
- Trouble with breathing: breathing quickly, using neck and belly muscles to help them breathe, flaring their nostrils.
- Very loose or knocked out permanent teeth, or other major mouth or facial injuries. If the injury involves teeth we recommend you call your dentist to determine if an ER visit is warranted.
- Repeated vomiting with inability to even keep a small sip of water every 15 minutes down, or if the child does not urinate after 8 hours.
- Fever greater than 100.4 rectally in a child less than 2 months of age.
- Suspected or known allergic food ingestion with symptoms (tingling of throat and/or tongue, difficulty breathing, worsening abdominal pain, vomiting, rash, swelling to face, hands, or feet). If this occurs, give your child their Epi-Pen and call 911 immediately after it is administered.