Credit: Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

For mothers and fathers confronted with a child’s sudden ache or fever, a new online tool from Sansum Clinic could help them decide if the symptom requires a doctor’s visit right away or could be handled at home.

Sansum’s Symptom Checker is available for free online, and it walks a parent through some key instructions on first identifying the part of the body involved, and then various symptoms common to the area. By clicking on the most likely symptom, parents are guided to narrow down on the problem and its potential severity. The responses lead to recommendations for care in the home, to get help if certain other conditions appear, or to call for help immediately.

Much of the information is common sense to experienced parents, but the Symptom Checker gives helpful details, such as what to do if a symptom doesn’t go away in a certain number of days and dosage charts for over-the-counter medications by the child’s weight.

Credit: Courtesy

“We receive many calls to our department from parents looking for this type of dosing information, which is often not listed on the medication packaging,” said Sansum pediatrician Dr. Saida Hamdani. “So we wanted to share an accurate source.”

In the first month after the Symptom Checker went live, Santa Barbara users looked for information on colds and coughs, ear problems, vomiting, and suspected COVID, Sansum reported. First-aid instructions are also offered, as well as suggestions for discipline issues and sleep problems.

Actual doctor’s advice is always better but not always readily available. Sansum emphasized that the Symptom Checker is not an actual replacement for such advice, a real diagnosis, or treatment options, but that it could prove helpful after hours or on the weekends.

Support the Santa Barbara Independent through a long-term or a single contribution.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.