“Symptoms to look for in a child are a sudden fever of 102 degrees or higher, persistent fever, difficulty breathing, inability to eat or drink, not urinating for over 8 hours, cottonmouth, sunken eyes, or dizziness,” Jacobson says. If your child has any of these symptoms, you should seek medical care — whether that means going to the doctor or urgent care or an emergency room. “If the child goes into respiratory distress or shows signs of collapsing, call 911 right away,” Jacobson says.
Another thing parents should watch out for is a fever that comes back after going away. “Anyone who has had a fever that went away for at least three days and came back should go to the hospital or doctor’s office, because this could be a sign of a bacterial infection in the lungs — even if it’s just a middle ear or sinus infection, you should get it checked out; it could be life-threatening,” Jacobson says.
Most important, parents should trust their instincts. If, in your gut, you know something is wrong with your child, then call or go see a pediatrician or take them to the hospital.