When to call the doctor

Parents should call the doctor whenever they are worried or the child seems sick.

Report the following issues to the doctor or healthcare team right away:

  • fever – your healthcare team will tell you more about temperatures, what temperature is a fever and how to take your child’s temperature, such as in the armpit, ear or mouth
  • signs of infection such as chills, earache, cough, cold, flu or sore throat
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • increased fatigue
  • change in behaviour or level of consciousness
  • break in the central venous catheter
  • bleeding, increased bruising or petechiae (tiny, flat, red spots caused by bleeding just under the surface of the skin)
  • changes in bowel habits, such as constipation longer than 2 days, severe diarrhea or painful bowel movements
  • change in bladder habits, such as painful or frequent urination, blood in the urine or decreased urine or no urine for 6–8 hours
  • change in eating habits, such as a large decrease in liquids being drunk, inability to drink or eat or difficulty or pain when eating, drinking or swallowing
  • rash or itching
  • severe headache or blurred vision
  • exposure to chicken pox, shingles or measles
  • pain or swelling where the chemotherapy gets injected
  • any severe pain that cannot be explained

Medical disclaimer

The information that the Canadian Cancer Society provides does not replace your relationship with your doctor. The information is for your general use, so be sure to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your health.

We do our best to make sure that the information we provide is accurate and reliable but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete.

The Canadian Cancer Society is not responsible for the quality of the information or services provided by other organizations and mentioned on cancer.ca, nor do we endorse any service, product, treatment or therapy.

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