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Emergency medical care for your child

ID番号 N36427 更新日 平成29年4月14日

Children can get sick very quickly. As the child’s parents, you’ll of course want them to be seen as soon as possible, especially at night or during holidays. This page will help you stay calm and act in this situation. It categorizes symptoms into those that need immediate guidance, and those that can wait until normal hours.

 

*Every child is different. Know your child’s normal level of health so you know when to act if something seems strange.

 

During an emergency, either call 119 for emergency medical care, or check the list of doctors-on-duty if it’s a nighttime, weekend, or holiday. Local municipal governments print this information in their newsletters as well.

 

Symptom list

 

A fever (発熱, hatsunetsu)

See a doctor immediately (even during nights or holidays)

 

Wait and see
 (wait until normal doctor’s hours)

 

What you can
do at home

Has a high fever, also has diarrhea or vomiting

Seems unwell, has trouble breathing

Convulsions

Is younger than 4 months old

Has a fever between 37.5℃~38 and seems to feel okay

Face color is normal

Has an appetite

Give them plenty of water

Use an ice pack to cool their forehead

Change clothes if they get sweaty

 

Convulsion (けいれん, keiren or ひきつけ, hikitsuke)

See a doctor immediately (even during nights or holidays)

 

Wait and see
 (wait until normal doctor’s hours)

 

What you can
do at home

Convulsions continue for 10 minutes or more, and don’t seem to be stopping

Convulsions happen twice in one day

Consciousness doesn’t return for more than 15 minutes

Keeps vomiting

Can’t feel their hands or feet afterward

First-ever convulsion happens during a fever

Baby is conscious and alert, and responds to you calling them

Take off any tight or constricting clothes, and lay them down gently

Keep their head facing to the side. If they vomit, this will prevent them from choking

Diarrhea (下痢, geri)

See a doctor immediately (even during nights or holidays)

 

Wait and see
 (wait until normal doctor’s hours)

 

What you can
do at home

Has diarrhea many times in one day, and doesn’t seem to feel well

Also has high fever, vomiting, or pains in chest

Bloody stool

Lack of urination

Doesn’t happen too much in one day (up to 5 times)

No fever, seems to feel okay

Normal urination

Can drink water

Change their diaper and wash their bottom

Give them plenty of water (such as a little bit of ion-water for children)

 

Cough (せき, seki)

See a doctor immediately (even during nights or holidays)

 

Wait and see
 (wait until normal doctor’s hours)

 

What you can
do at home

Has a cough and a fever, doesn’t seem well

Has a dry cough, or has a severe wet cough, has trouble breathing

Has trouble breathing, breathing fast

Blue color in the face, fingernails, and lips

Seems to feel okay, has an appetite

Doesn’t seem to have trouble, can sleep

Dry air should be avoided, so keep a humidifier in the room

Give them plenty of water

 

Vomiting (吐く, haku or 嘔吐, outo)

See a doctor immediately (even during nights or holidays)

 

Wait and see
 (wait until normal doctor’s hours)

 

What you can
do at home

Blood or a yellow substance (bile) in the vomit

Convulsions or a lack of consciousness

Intense crying

Lack of urination (has not urinated for a few hours)

Severe stomach pains and headache

Feels okay after vomiting

Can drink water

No fever or diarrhea, doesn’t seem to feel unwell

Give them plenty of water (such as ion-water for children)

Have them sleep on their side (to prevent choking on vomit)

 

Stomachache (腹痛, fukutsuu or お腹が痛い, onaka ga itai )

See a doctor immediately (even during nights or holidays)

 

Wait and see
 (wait until normal doctor’s hours)

 

What you can
do at home

Hunched over in pain

Painful if stomach is touched

Also has diarrhea or vomiting

Bloody stool

Doesn’t seem well, keeps crying

Pain has subsided and doesn’t seem to bother the child as much

Feels better after having a bowel movement

Bring them to the bathroom and encourage them to have a bowel movement

Don’t force them to eat. Give them a little bit of water and check how they feel.

Hit in the head (頭を打った, atama wo utta)

See a doctor immediately (even during nights or holidays)

 

Wait and see
 (wait until normal doctor’s hours)

 

What you can
do at home

Not conscious

Don’t respond if you speak to them, falls asleep quickly or any other loss of consciousness

Has convulsions

Vomits many times

Severe bleeding

The child may have cried immediately afterwards, but once the pain subsides, they return to normal and have a normal appetite

Is conscious, their eyes and hands are moving normally, and don’t seem any different than normal

 

If there is swelling, press a wet towel to cool the area for around 20 minutes

In the 1-2 days following the incident, keep a close watch on their appetite and face color

 

 

Accidental ingestion (誤飲、誤食, goin, goshoku)

See a doctor immediately (even during nights or holidays)

 

Wait and see
 (wait until normal doctor’s hours)

 

What you can
do at home

Has convulsions

Loss of consciousness

Drank kerosene, gasoline, other flammable substances, bleach, or other strong acids or alkaloids

Swallowed a button battery

Vomits blood

Ingested something sharp

Ate a little bit of a cigarette (around 2cm)

Ate a crayon, soap, paper, plastic, pencil graphite, incense stick

Licked ink, paint, or cosmetics

If you spot a foreign object in their mouth, try to take it out with your index finger

If an object is lodged in their throat, keep their head facing down and firmly tap their back

 

Burns (やけど, yakedo)

See a doctor immediately (even during nights or holidays)

 

Wait and see
 (wait until normal doctor’s hours)

 

What you can
do at home

The burn is larger than an adult’s palm

A subcutaneous burn that looks black or white

Just a red mark without any blistering

Burn is only in a small area

 

Run the burn under tap water for about 20 minutes

If it’s a large burn, cover it and keep it cool until you can see a doctor (However, be careful of hypothermia)

Checklist for seeing the doctor

 

You must bring

Maternal and Child Health book

Health insurance card

Doctor’s office card (if you have been there before, they will have handed this card to you at the end)

Something to help you describe the child’s symptoms (any notes on their temperature, samples of stool or vomit)

Names of any prescription medicine they are taking (if you have a medicine record book, bring that)

 

Other things that will help

Change of clothes, a towel, diapers, tissues, etc

Toys and books for the time in the waiting room

Notepad and writing utensil to take notes of the doctor’s orders

 

What the doctor may ask you

What are the symptoms? (Do they have a fever? Worrying symptoms? Do they have an appetite? What does their stool look like? Etc)

How long have they had these symptoms? (Month, day, and time)

Has the child had any serious illnesses before?

Is the child taking any medicine currently?

Does the child have food or medicine allergies?

Does any member of the family have the same symptoms?

 

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