When to Call Us
If you have an emergency, call 911 immediately!
For urgent after-hours situations, you can reach us 24 hours a day by calling our
Emergency Answering Service: (513) 771-4279. (see below)
We are here to give you guidance and counseling in caring for your child. We ask that you confine your non-emergency calls to regular daytime business hours. This is when we are fully staffed to answer your questions. You may always leave non-emergency questions on our answering machine and we will call you back the next workday.
In an emergency, you can reach us 24 hours a day through our answering service. You can call the answering service directly at (513) 771-4279. You can also dial our office number and follow the prompts to be transferred to the answering service. The doctor on call will try to return your call within one or two hours. If you don’t receive a return call within that time, please call back. Please be aware the call back will be from a private or blocked number.
If the office is closed, can I call the doctor? What is an emergency?
Yes, call the doctor if you have an emergency, no matter what time of day or night. But what is an emergency?
Call 911 if:
- Your child is having acute, severe difficulty breathing
- Your child is turning blue
- Your child is having a seizure for the first time
- Your child cannot be aroused
Once help is on the way, then call us.
Poisoning is best handled by first calling Poison Control at (513) 558-5111 or 1-800-222-1222. Please inform our office once you’ve called Poison Control and followed their instructions.
When you don’t need to call 911, when should you call the doctor’s office?
Do you think you need to take your child to urgent care tonight? Call us. Examples of when to go to an urgent care center include:
- Broken bones
- Vomiting or diarrhea with dehydration severe enough that you think your child may need an IV
- Severe abdominal pain that you think may be appendicitis
- Breathing is fast and labored
Do you think you need to take your child to the office in the morning?
Call the office in the morning or leave a message on the voicemail and a staff member will return your call the next business day. In general, if your child has had the same symptoms for longer than a day or two, call during office hours unless they are getting acutely worse, and you think they need to be seen tonight. We rarely give antibiotics over the phone. Whenever possible children should be seen in the office, and you should call during the day for an appointment.
When is fever an emergency?
First, fever won’t cause damage to a child, as long as the child has a way to get rid of the heat. Fever is a symptom, and it is your body’s way of fighting disease. (Heat stroke is different–that is caused by externally applied heat with no way to get rid of the heat).
- A temperature less than 101° isn’t a fever. The exception: call us for any temperature greater than 100.5° in a child less than two months old.
- A fever of 105° is associated with more severe, bacterial illnesses such as pneumonia, and you should call for a fever this high.
- A lower fever of 101-104° should be evaluated on the basis of how the child looks. Dress her lightly. If she’s playing, call the next day. If she’s ill and unresponsive, she needs to see a doctor, now. If she looks mildly ill, give Tylenol or similar product, wait an hour, and re-evaluate.
- If your child is unvaccinated, the risk of serious disease is higher! Please call if concerned about how your child is and plan on taking them to see a doctor quickly.
When is a rash an emergency?
A rash is never an emergency in an otherwise well child. Call during office hours about chicken pox. Call at night about a rash in a child with a headache and fever, or if there are areas in the rash that look like bruises or small blood blisters (petechiae).
Coughing. Call at night for a cough if your child is also having difficulty breathing. A persistent cough, especially with fever, should be seen in the office, and you should call for an appointment during the day.
Earache. For earaches, use ibuprofen and a heating pad for pain.
Constipation, stuttering, worms, impetigo, pigeon toes and diaper rash are not emergencies.
Please, call the office during office hours. You can leave a message on the answering machine if the office is closed, and a nurse will return your call in the morning.
You’ll find more information about these and other non-emergency conditions in the “Is Your Child Sick?” section on our homepage.