Preparing for your appointment

If you take your child to a doctor, make the most of your time by writing down information the doctor will need before you go, including:

  • Any signs and symptoms your child is experiencing
  • How long your child has been having signs and symptoms
  • Whether your child has been in child care or other environments where the disease might be spread
  • Any questions you have

Some questions you might want to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the likely cause of the symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • Will my child need to undergo any tests?
  • What's the best treatment approach?
  • Is there a need to take medicine?
  • What can I do at home to make my child more comfortable?

What to expect from your doctor

Some questions the doctor may ask include:

  • When did symptoms first begin?
  • How severe are the symptoms?
  • Has your child recently been exposed to anyone who was sick?
  • Have you heard of any illnesses at your child's school or child care?
  • Does anything seem to improve the symptoms?
  • Does anything appear to worsen the symptoms?

What you can do in the meantime

To help lessen discomfort, doctors often recommend:

  • Getting rest.
  • Drinking fluids — milk-based fluids may be easier to tolerate than acidic liquids, such as juice or soda.
  • If needed, taking over-the-counter pain relievers other than aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) in an age- and weight-appropriate form and dosage. But they're not necessary for low-grade fevers and will do nothing to hasten the resolution of your child's condition.
  • Using mouthwash or oral spray to numb pain.