When should a child be taken to hospital for a fever, cough, and cold? (photo)

Doctor's Answers (1)

As the question posed is very generic I will just state some guidelines which warrants a hospital visit.


Usually in Singapore there isn’t an issue to bring your child to see a regular GP or Paediatrician for the above symptoms unless it’s a public holiday or after office hours. In which case for practical reason you have only the option of going to the hospital.


The following symptoms are worrying and your child may need to be hospitalized if:

  1. Breathless even to the point of looking pale or ashen color
  2. Audible sound of breathing like wheezing or stridor or barking type of cough
  3. Restless or lethargic
  4. Complains that she / he can’t breath or has chest pain
  5. Vomiting several times with the cough
  6. High persistent fever with great difficulty in control and particularly if above 40 degrees
  7. Poor suck in infants or poor oral intake in the older ones
  8. Accompanying signs of extreme headache, severe throat pain. , abdominal pain. , rash
  9. History of a heart disease, recent surgery , chronic respiratory conditions eg asthma
  10. Recent travel to remote places or where there is possible influenza , MERS, etc

I also take serious consideration of parental instinct where you just have an uneasy gut feel that your child is really unlike herself / himself . You know your child best and this is where the doctor may not have the instinctive feel you may have and unable to describe but the hospital doctor can evaluate the situation for you.


The list is no means exhaustive but highlights the important signs to alert you that your child may need a hospital visit.

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All content posted is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This Q&A is not a patient consultation and any information provided herein is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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