Do you always take your DCs to the GP to get rashes/illnesses checked out, even if they don't seem poorly?

(26 Posts)
abigboydidit Mon 30-Sep-13 13:47:48

When I collected DS from nursery last week I was told he had signs of hand, foot and mouth disease and his key worker explained what to expect. I didn't take him to the Doctor as he seemed fine in himself and they had said there was no treatment needed, just paracetamol if in discomfort. He's 2.5. The next day DD (8 months) developed a similar rash but equally was showing no signs of discomfort so I didn't take her. Since then the rash had spread along her arms and legs but she is still bright and happy so I assumed it was just a wee viral rash and have been keeping an eye on it.

I discussed this with mums at my toddler group today and they were horrified! They took their DCs to the Doc with any cough, rash or upset tummy. Am I being too laid back?

PigStack Mon 30-Sep-13 13:54:45

I live in Ireland where it would be €50 each time I spend 5 minutes with the doctor so no, I never take mine to the doctor unless there is something very very obviously wrong with them. Most of my friends are the same for the same reason. if it was free to take them to be checked then I imagine I would be just like your friends - tripping along at the first sign of a sniffle. Sometimes it's nice to have the reassurance that all is okay.

tizzwozz Mon 30-Sep-13 14:01:55

I've got a 10yo and a 4yo.

The 4yo has been taken to the dr once, for a cough so bad he was struggling for breath.

The 10yo has never seen a dr.

And that's not because they aren't ever ill - I just have a good idea of how to deal with common complaints like stomach bugs etc and so don't feel the need to take them. My oldest was once very ill with a high fever etc and I did think to myself then, if she is still like this in the morning (was about 1am at the time) I will get her an emergency appointment. But the fever broke in the small hours and she was much better the next day.

I think many people are more scared than they need to be by relatively minor illness.

roweeena Mon 30-Sep-13 14:31:10

No only take them if you are actually worried about them - its a waste of everyone's time otherwise.

I am gonsmacked at the number of people who take their children with colds/ chicken pox to GP these days

YDdraigGoch Mon 30-Sep-13 14:33:29

My DD (18) went to the GP for contraception the other day. It was the first time he'd seen her since her vaccinations when she was a baby.

I think GPs have enough on their plates without having to check out every rash, or runny nose.

CMOTDibbler Mon 30-Sep-13 14:34:43

No - it would have to be a spectacular rash I couldn't identify, a very high and not responding to meds temp etc.

Last time ds went to the GP, it was because he'd been coughing a lot, and it had been going on for 3 weeks - and he does have a history of severe chest infections.

AmandaPandtheNightmareMonsters Mon 30-Sep-13 14:36:45

No. If I am worried I take them. If I think it's a routine illness, I don't. If it is a bug that will pass on it's own, what is the point in helping spread it round town when the advice will be rest, calpol if needed and plenty of fluids?

I don't think DD1 (aged 4.5) has been to the doctors for anything other than routine vaccinations, etc for about 3 years. DD2 had a nasty skin infection as a baby that needed creams and then finally antibiotics, but I don't think she has been since.

Poledra Mon 30-Sep-13 14:37:51

No, apart from the sore spots DD3 had on her back last year, because I was convinced they were shingles, though DH thought I was talking nonsense (apparently, children don't get shingles in DH's world).

I was right <smug>

Jojay Mon 30-Sep-13 14:38:21

Nope, definitely not. My lot have seen doctors quite a lot, but for genuine reasons ( 3 out of 4 are asthmatic, 2 have major food allergies and eczema) but if I went for every rash or sneeze I'd be there every other day!

No wonder A&E is so overstretched with attitudes like that around.

maillotjaune Mon 30-Sep-13 14:38:58

Mine only go to the GP if I think they need a prescription e.g. raging conjunctivitis. But then I'm rarely there except for smear tests or occasional flare up of an old orthopaedic problem.

Some people have no confidence dealing with illnesses. Some people think every symptom is serious. Tis very hard to understand attitudes at the opposite end of the scale to your own.

noblegiraffe Mon 30-Sep-13 14:41:10

It's not a badge of honour to not take your child to the doc when they're ill. If your child hasn't been ill enough to need the doctor, fair enough. You've been lucky.

But my doc would rather see a child who wasn't seriously ill than miss one that wasn't through a parent not wanting to bother them.

BlingLoving Mon 30-Sep-13 14:46:27

I think it can also vary based on age, and if they are pfb! I took ds to the dr much quicker when he was very small than I would now. And certainly, dr always had the view she would rather see him at that age. Now, I would only take him if I was seriously concerned. Not least because he can tell me more.

I suspect with a second I would take them more when young but not as quick as I did with ds.

ouryve Mon 30-Sep-13 14:52:33

good grief, no. we'd need to camp there.

And when kids have something infectious like HF&M or chicken pox, the last place to take them is into a busy waiting room.

PrincessRomy Mon 30-Sep-13 14:56:51

I took dd at just over a year old to the doctors, thinking I was just being a fussing first time mum. Turned out she had pneumonia and doctor called an ambulance immediately. So I am always a bit nervous now and tend towards going for a bit of reassurance if I'm feeling like things aren't right. (She was fine after intravenous antibiotics, inhalers and a little stay in hospital btw, still was scary though).

It's always a judgement call.

In the situation you mentioned, I probably wouldn't take DC to the doctor, unless something changed and DC became noticeably more poorly or it had been going on for a long time.

I tend to take DD to get her chest listened to by the nurse if she has a bad cough. Every time I've had the 'fine, just viral', until the time I went last winter and we ended up being sent off in an ambulance because she was struggling to breathe sad. That occurrence has probably made me err on the side of caution.

JoandMax Mon 30-Sep-13 15:03:40

DS1 has rarely been to the doctors, I've only ever taken him if I felt he needed a prescription. I have had a couple of phone consultations when he'd had a bad bout of D&V and I wasn't sure when he'd need medical attention but generally I'm confident I can tell whats wrong or whats serious.

DS2 I have taken loads, he was a very poorly baby but even as he got better and older I have an anxiety with him and a tendency to panic and need reassurance, even if I know deep down he's fine. I would hope I wasn't judged for that..............

mrsmartin1984 Mon 30-Sep-13 15:20:03

I haven't taken my DD to the docs other then the 6 week check up. I normally have colds at the same time as my daughter so know that she is unwell and what's wrong with her. I wouldn't go unless I thought something untowards with her. Normally I just dose her up on calpol

PennySillin Spain Mon 30-Sep-13 15:25:20

OP I think you're actions are entirely appropriate. However not all parents/people react in the same way. In fact so many people request Drs appointments for minor, self limiting illnesses that whole new role has developed in many surgeries. The role of the Minor Illness Nurse. Of course not all patients who see the Minor Illness Nurse has a minor illness and in fact one of the the key skills to the job is to quickly identify those who haven't got a minor illness and have something more serious going on and referring them on to an appropriate person (doctor or nurse practitioner).

abigboydidit Mon 30-Sep-13 15:33:37

Thanks everyone. Both my kids have been to the GP a few times for eczema, allergies, coughs that had become rattley etc etc. It's more a judgement call, as another poster put it. If DD had a rash and was upset and I had no idea what it might be I would drag her straight down there! But when she doesn't seem poorly I tend to go for the "keep an eye" approach.

JedwardScissorhands Mon 30-Sep-13 15:35:26

My GP puts everything down to a self -limiting virus. So I don't go to the GP except for routine appointments to do with chronic conditions. Which incidentally were only diagnosed by the minor illnesses drop in next to A&E after the 'just a virus' line from the GP. I think GPs have become complacent because it is so often 'just a virus' that they don't really listen to parents, convinced they are there at the drop of a hat.

Badvoc Mon 30-Sep-13 15:41:08

All depends on the child, really.
Some kids don't get ill that often.
And some do.
Some have chronic issues.
I take mine when I think they need ABs for an infection, but not otherwise.
Sadly they are both asthmatic so winters can be bad.
I do agree that if we had to pay for go apots like in the rest of the EU a lot of visits wouldn't happen.
My cousin is a nurse and a LOT of he people she sees are what she calls "the worried well" or elderly people for whom a trip to the nurse is a social occasion.

Badvoc Mon 30-Sep-13 15:42:02

....and if my child had a rash and was very unwell I wouldn't be at the gp, I would be at a and e!
I agree GPS can be very blasé about childhood illnesses.

PennySillin Spain Mon 30-Sep-13 15:45:13

My cousin is a nurse and a LOT of he people she sees are what she calls "the worried well" or elderly people for whom a trip to the nurse is a social occasion.

I don't think I am your cousin Badvoc smile but this is how I describe my clinics too, it's a great job, lots of reassurance and over the counter advice and occasionally somebody comes in that you just think - hmm don't like the sound of this, or the look of that and I refer them onto a GP or a nurse practitioner. I've got to say it's a great job, a bit like a medical detective smile

rrreow Mon 30-Sep-13 16:02:36

Viral rashes are really common in kids so unless my DC were not acting right in themselves to a worrying degree I wouldn't take them to the doctor's. There are so many minor childhood illnesses that although uncomfortable for the child, the GP will be able to do nothing about.

My DS1 is about 2.5 now and in the early days if I was worried the first port of call would always be calling NHS direct. Now I feel more confident to assess the situation myself and decide whether we need to go to the GP. Only exception at this point would be if my DS2 got ill as he's only 3 months.

delasi Tue 01-Oct-13 00:18:11

noblegiraffe Yy.

I think I'm in the middle. I feel fairly confident about how DS (9mo) is when he's well and therefore can tell when he's unwell, I have the usual creams and medicines and can always look online for more info. But I am surprised by, on several occasions, having heard of people who waited months before seeing a GP when their DC was exhibiting symptoms or struggling with something, usually with rashes or issues like reflux. I'm not saying these parents aren't doing things 'right' (!), it's not a criticism at all, but I do think that sometimes we are a bit too focused on being proud, if that's the correct term, of not seeing the GP.

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