To identify an illness in a child who is over the age of 12 months, some troubling symptoms to look for are a very high fever, severe headache, rash that appears on different parts of the body, stiff neck and a serious stomach flu, as stated by WebMD. Some symptoms in a baby that may indicate an illness requiring medical attention are irritability, ear problems, discharge from the eyes, constipation, fever, vomiting and diarrhea, according to Mayo Clinic.
Although a fever is a symptom that can develop in both babies and older children, it is important to consult a doctor when a baby under 3 months has any type of fever. Another case in which parents may need to speak with a doctor is when a fever lasting longer than 24 hours is above 102 degrees Fahrenheit and the child is between 6 and 24 months, states Mayo Clinic.
A child over the age of 24 months with a fever that is 104 degrees or higher also may need to visit a doctor. A rash with purple dots that manifests with a fever may be a symptom of meningitis. Some other symptoms associated with meningitis are a bad headache and a stiff neck. A stiff neck may also be caused by swollen lymph nodes, notes WebMD. Similarly, a rash can be hives due to some type of an allergic reaction.
Gastroenteritis, which is referred to as the stomach flu, can cause symptoms such as severe diarrhea and vomiting that may lead to dehydration in children. Parents should monitor children with these symptoms because severe dehydration is a serious problem that can require treatment.