If your child has signs or symptoms of rheumatic fever, you're likely to start by seeing your child's pediatrician. However, the doctor might refer you to a heart specialist (pediatric cardiologist) for some diagnostic tests.
Here's some information to help you get ready for the appointment.
What you can do
Before the appointment, make a list of:
- Your child's symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to your reason for scheduling the appointment and any that have recently been resolved
- Recent illnesses your child has had
- All medications, vitamins or other supplements, your child takes or has recently taken
- Questions to ask your doctor
Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given. For rheumatic fever, basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's likely causing my child's symptoms?
- What other conditions could cause these symptoms?
- What tests will my child need?
- What is the best course of action?
- Will rheumatic fever or its treatment affect my child's other health conditions?
- How much do I need to restrict my child's activities?
- Is my child still contagious? For how long?
- What type of follow-up is needed?
- Are there brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:
- When did your child's symptoms begin?
- How have they changed over time?
- Has your child had a cold or flu recently? What were the symptoms?
- as your child been exposed to strep throat?
- Was your child recently diagnosed with strep throat or scarlet fever?
- If so, did your child take all of the antibiotics as prescribed?