Sick Child Visits in Santa Barbara, CA

As a parent, keeping your child healthy is your top priority. When your child falls ill, we want you to know that we’re here for you as it is our concern as well. If your child is showing signs of a non-life-threatening illness, please call our pediatric clinic in Santa Barbara right away and we will do our best to get your child in as soon as possible. Of course, if your child is suffering from a more serious medical emergency (such as seizures, shock, respiratory distress) or a traumatic injury (such as a motor vehicle or bicycle crash, poisoning, drowning), please call 911 immediately.

Reasons for a Sick-Child Visit

Please call our pediatric office to come in for a sick child visit if your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • High and/or persistent fever
  • Vomiting
  • Widespread rash
  • Rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Any unusual symptom that lasts for more than three days in a row
  • Persistent pain, such as stomachache, sore throat, headache, or an earache

child with fever and in need of pediatric visit

When Your Child Requires Emergency Room

If your child is suffering from a more serious medical emergency (such as dehydration, seizures, shock, respiratory distress) or a traumatic injury (such as a motor vehicle or bicycle crash, poisoning, drowning, severe bleeding), please call 911 immediately.

High fevers can also require a visit to the ER:

  • If your baby is less than 3 months old, visit the ER if their temperature is above 100.4 degrees
  • If your child has a fever above 103°F, they should be treated immediately in the ER

What to Expect at a Sick-Child Visit

During a sick-child visit, your child’s symptoms will be evaluated and medical history will be discussed. We will also discuss if you have tried any over-the-counter treatments or other at-home remedies. We will then perform a physical examination, including taking your child’s temperature, listening to their breathing and heartbeat, etc.

After the above, we typically will be able to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan. In some cases, your child may need further tests, such as a blood test or urine analysis, to confirm a diagnosis or rule out conditions.

At the end of the appointment, you will be given a prescription for medications if required, along with dosage instructions, and care instructions to help with relieving your child’s symptoms. You may also be provided with possible warning signs and when to seek future medical care.

Common Illnesses We Treat

Hand, Foot, and Mouth (HFM)

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a contagious viral infection which results in a rash resembling blisters on the hands and feet, along with painful sores inside their mouth. It is most common in infants and young children under the age of five.

Influenza (Flu)

Influenza, or the flu, is a viral infection that primarily affects the respiratory system. It is caused by influenza viruses, is highly contagious, and it can spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV)

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus which typically includes mild, cold-like symptoms. While the majority of individuals recuperate within one to two weeks, RSV can lead to serious complications. Infants and elderly adults have a higher likelihood of experiencing severe RSV symptoms necessitating hospitalization.

Ear Infection

An ear infection is an infection that occurs in the space behind the eardrum, usually when bacteria or virus trap fluid causing pain and swelling. They occur most commonly in young children because they have short and narrow eustachian tubes.

About 80 percent of children develop an acute ear infection at some point. Some 25 percent of all children will have repeated ear infections.

Strep Throat

Strep throat is a highly contagious disease that comes from a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus. It can cause symptoms including a sore throat, pain upon swallowing, fever, spots on the roof of the mouth and back of throat, and more.

Kids and adults alike are all susceptible to strep throat. It’s important to seek medical care if your child is experiencing symptoms, as untreated cases of strep can develop to cause several serious health problems.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

When the conjunctiva (outer lining of the eyeball) becomes inflamed, it is known as conjunctivitis, or pink eye. A healthy conjunctiva is white, however, when it is inflamed, your child’s eyes can look pink or red.

Your Child’s Visit

At the end of the sick child visit, Dr. Charish Barry will have identified the illness. Depending on the diagnosis, you will leave with either a prescription, dosage instructions, and/or instructions on how to relieve your child’s symptoms.

Making a Sick Child Appointment

If at all possible, we would prefer that you call ahead of time to make the sick child appointment to avoid having your child sit in the waiting room while potentially contagious.

Sick appointments during the week

To make an appointment for a sick child, please call (805) 845-1221. The more information you can provide us up front, the better we can serve your child. This not only allows us to determine the severity of your child’s symptoms, but also helps prepare the pediatrician with the appropriate background information.

If you don’t believe the severity of the illness is enough to require a sick child visit, you can refer to our online sources.

Is Your Child Sick?
Use our Symptom Checker.

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 (805) 845-1221



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