Worrying too much? Not enough? How do you know? Having a young child can be incredibly scary. You often feel like you don't know what to do and you don't want to make a mistake. Internet search results only lead to more questions. So you run to the doctor's clinic to try to get peace of mind. There are a few problems surrounding this behavior, but this post will help you address them.
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Worrying as a new parent: paranoia or a valid concern?
In the beginning, it is completely understandable for a parent to be constantly on high alert about the health status of their child. Any child under a year old is very sensitive and must be cared for carefully.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)– also known as cot death or crib death– is the sudden unexplained death of a child less than one year of age, and is a real concern. There are no guaranteed ways to prevent SIDS, but you can do your best to maximize the safety of the environments your child is in, especially while sleeping. This includes putting newborns to sleep on their back, keeping the crib clean and relatively firm, having the baby sleep near you but not with you (ideally in a crib in your room.)
For parents of children over a year old, it is still important to be concerned with their health, but the likelihood of any serious complications and death are dramatically reduced. Most parents know this, but when you're actually with your sniffling or coughing child it's very difficult to not let your emotions get the better of you. As a parent, it's so difficult to see your child in pain and discomfort. When they are, you want to do everything in your power to help them feel better. The fastest and most reassuring option is running them to the GP clinic or hospital to see a doctor. It buys you peace of mind because you have an authoritative voice giving you an answer: which is usually saying that your child is fine. Again, most parents know that their concerns are probably unfounded, but they don't want to be wrong, they need to make sure. Unfortunately, this sort of behavior can place a heavy burden on healthcare systems. It can also unnecessarily expose children to sick people, increasing their chance of actually becoming sick.
We spoke to a GP working at one of the public hospitals in Singapore. In response to our question concerning whether parents are too fast to rush their children to a doctor, she said:
“As someone that works in urgent care and primary care, yes. Absolutely. It is amazing the number of parents that bring their kids in for colds that they have only had for a few days.”
You feel bad taking the doctor's time, and you can't bear the idea of exposing your child to more germs, but none of that is as important as ensuring nothing serious is wrong with your child. It's very understandable.
When you should have your young child see a doctor
- Fever that doesn’t subside, or high fever (38.5 Celsius)
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty swallowing
- Headache accompanied by fever and vomiting
- Abdominal pain, especially on the right side
- A fall that causes swelling and doesn’t go away after a day
Often times there exists a lot of uncertainty around the severity of your child's symptoms. It is very difficult to understand the experience someone else is going through, even when that person is your child. In the face of this uncertainty, it is obviously better to be safe than sorry. The consequences of the wrong decision can be dire, but the odds of that happening are incredibly low.
In today's world, the first thing most of us do when we need help finding answers is use google or another search engine. Unfortunately, because you are presented with so many differing options and opinions this can often be even more crippling. For example, you search something like "6 month old coughing at night" and you will see so much differing information that it's impossible to know which source is the best or the most reliable. Most parents end up finding a few sites that they choose to trust, but you always have doubts due to the conflicting information that you choose to ignore. Even more general questions like "why does my child cry so much" are googled by fraught and anxious parents hundreds of thousands of times - and you never get a straight answer online, you get more confused. And choosing to follow a course of action you find online may in fact be the wrong choice, costing you time and money, if not adversely affecting your child's health. Many parents I've spoken to about this have expressed not getting anywhere with the information overflow that is presented by search queries:
"I’ve wasted good money due to frantic googling not really being helpful and ending up in an expensive ER for a high fever."
As I'm sure you feel, and as you'll see below, the concern is warranted, but the common methods of addressing it don't quite work. Peace of mind is what you need. So, what's the right thing to do?
Telemedicine services are the answer
Our instant call feature is the perfect first line of defense for this situation: it's quick and easy. Have your concerns quelled from the comfort of your own home. We're bringing the doctor to you. Take less of the doctor's time because you don't have to justify a reason for traveling to the clinic. Contact a doctor online to ask fast and simple questions unapologetically. We have doctors waiting to respond to situations just like this. Furthermore, when you speak with a doctor online you don't surround yourself and your child with sick people.
You can consult a Singapore licensed physician right now, wherever you are. Our doctors can provide you with medical advice for your child, and depending on their condition, they may also be able to write you a signed medical certificate (MC) and an online prescription to get you the time and resources you need to care for your child. This service empowers anyone in Singapore to pay $20 to instantly consult with a top Singapore doctor, via a video call from their mobile phone, laptop, or any web-enabled device.
We've partnered with one of the most prominent healthcare groups in Singapore in order to ensure you and your children always have access to the best doctors. The intention is not to replace the current healthcare system. Our digital healthcare platform is augmenting it by making healthcare more affordable and accessible for the patient.
How do we get started?
All you have to have to do is click here, or the button below, to speak to a doctor online. Then there are 3 simple steps. You'll have signed up and seen a doctor in a matter of minutes. For help with knowing when to see a doctor remotely, click here.
Speak with a doctor online on RingMD. Why leave home to find a doctor if you don't have to? Avoid sick people in busy waiting rooms and skip the traffic jam. Can you have a doctor appointment online? Yes, consult a doctor online, right now! When appropriate, the doctor is able to provide you with a signed Medical Certificate (MC) if you need one for work or school reasons.
We're also focusing on increasing access to mental health care. If you're thinking "I need a therapist near me" but don't know where to start, try the RingMD therapist directory. We will help you find the right therapist for YOU!
If you're a doctor or wellness expert considering offering virtual care services, here are some arguments to consider.