My Child Is Sick, What Do I Do?

The Center for Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, P.A. provides compassionate medical care for patients in infancy through adolescence. Since opening in 1991, we have been committed to providing the best medical care to patients in Dover, DE and surrounding communities. We are proud to provide a range services including: well visits, physicals, immunizations, asthma care, ADD/ADHD care plans and more.

If your child is sick and you feel they need an office visit, we encourage you to call and schedule an appointment at the beginning of the day, if possible. Our sick appointments often fill quickly.

When To Call The On-Call Doctor


The providers at The Center for Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, P.A. offer 24 hour on-call coverages for you and your child. Call is shared between the providers on a rotating basis.

If you need to call for advice or urgent medical issues after hours, please call 302-678-8333 and follow the instructions. Please be sure to know/have the following:

  •  Patient’s name
  •  Date of Birth
  •  Medications
  •  Condition or symptoms of patient
  •  Patient’s temperature
  •  Pharmacy phone number
  •  Pen/paper to write down instructions
  •  Phone number you can be reached at

The person caring for the child should place the call. It is important that we speak with the child’s immediate caregiver. Please be patient, it is our goal to call you back within the hour.

Please click on the categories below for more information on your child’s symptoms.

  •  Temperature varies with age, activity and time of day. A fever is a temperature of 100.4.
  •  Fever is a normal response to infection. You cook food to kill germs. Your body does the same thing when exposed to an illness. Children get better when their fever is not treated. If your child is comfortable, offer extra fluids and rest.
  •  Fever alone almost never causes brain damage. To do so, fever must be over 106 and damage is rare with fevers of less than 107.
  •  Febrile seizures generally occur with sudden changes in temperature. They are not related to the height of the temperature. Call us if your child has a seizure.
  •  Sometimes, fever may be associated with body aches and cause discomfort. In these cases, you may offer your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 hours as needed or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) every 6 to 8 hours as needed. Be sure to read the directions carefully as dosage is based upon your child’s weight. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen SHOULD NOT routinely be given together or alternated.

For more information go to: healthychildren.org/symptom-checker.

  •  Vomiting may be caused by many things. Vomiting from a viral infection often lasts up to 8 -12 hours or until the stomach is emptied as demonstrated by dry heaves.
  •  When your child vomits, you want to reassure them and comfort them. It can be a frightening experience. Have your child cleanse their mouth by rinsing and spitting.
  •  Do not provide food or fluids for 1 to 2 hours after your child has vomited. Allow your child’s stomach a chance to rest. You may then provide sips of clear fluids such as Pedialyte, 7-Up, ginger ale or broth. Only offer 1 teaspoon every 5 minutes. If your child keeps this down, you may gradually increase the volume to 1 ounce. Pedialyte popsicles are refreshing a good way to offer small fluid volumes that can be easily absorbed.

For more information go to: healthychildren.org/symptom-checker.

  •  Colds are caused by viral infections. We do not recommend over-the-counter cough and cold preparations for young children. The best management is a steamy shower. Take your child into the shower with you. Simply placing them in the bathroom while you shower is not effective. This allows the mucous to thin and drain.
  •  Infants under 6 months of age can only breathe through their nose. Using saline (salt water) nose drops and your bulb syringe can help keep their nose clear. If they seem to have difficulty breathing, always clear their nose first. This will often solve their breathing troubles.
  •  Newborns that have a cough which is not associated with a feeding should have an office appointment to evaluate them further.

For more information go to: healthychildren.org/symptom-checker.

Rashes can be caused by many things, irritants such as sprays etc., allergies and infections. Your child needs a routine sick appointment to evaluate and diagnose the cause of their rash. If the rash has purple lesions, call the office for a same day sick appointment or the on-call doctor.

For more information go to: healthychildren.org/symptom-checker.

  •  If your child has asthma, it is important to have all of their needed medications on hand at all times. Asthma flares and attacks can occur in any location. Always carry your child’s rescue inhaler with you as well as their asthma care plan. If your child has a cough, begin their yellow zone treatment. If the cough is not improving, schedule an office visit for further evaluation.
  •  NEVER GIVE YOUR CHILD THEIR RESCUE MEDICATION MORE THAN EVERY 4 HOURS OR START ORAL STEROIDS BEFORE CALLING THE OFFICE OR ON CALL DOCTOR.
  •  Children can get worse very quickly. It is our goal to avoid emergency room visits and hospitalizations. We can do that best through early intervention. We offer asthma education for parents and children.

For more information go to:

For more information go to: healthychildren.org/symptom-checker.

If your child has a life-threatening emergency such as:

  •  Loss of Consciousness
  •  Unresponsiveness
  •  Respiratory Distress
  •  Uncontrolled Bleeding

CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY
If you suspect your child has ingested a poisonous substance call: Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 and follow the instructions given. If you think your child needs to go to the emergency room, please call our office during office hours and after hours.

For more information go to: healthychildren.org/symptom-checker.