What should parents do when their child spikes a fever, starts coughing or vomiting, breaks out in a rash, gets a sore throat, or develops many other common conditions? They might try consulting KidsDoc Symptom Checker, a tool provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Available online at www.healthychildren.org or as an iPhone app.

This interactive symptom checker allows parents to enter their child’s symptoms and receive up-to-date advice on everything from minor illnesses that may be treated at home to more serious symptoms that warrant an immediate call to the doctor. Each symptom care guide includes a chart to help parents determine how severe their child’s illness is, as well as clear instructions on how to manage it.

By no means does this replace your own pediatrician or your local emergency access number in a serious situation, but we all know there are times when you want to see if it does necessitate a call to the doctor’s office, or when you know it doesn’t, but you want to determine how to make your child comfortable.

I recently used it for my own son when we were on vacation and not near an established medical facility. ¬†We found it a worthwhile tool in a Mom’s (or Dad’s) parenting arsenal.

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