I may be a little late getting into the discussion but...
One question I have frequently found helpful at clarifying the reason for a ED visit after several days of illness or after previous ED visits is to ask the parents, "What has changed or worsened to make you come (back) today? What worried you more today than, say, yesterday"? This question forces the parent to sharpen their concerns and often will result in a succint statement of what is truly worrying them. If it's frustation or exhaustion of dealing with a child who is on their 7th of rotavirus and is still having symptoms, explanation and reassurance may be all that is necessary. Many times, after getting a long winded history in a child who doesn't look particularly ill and doesn't seem to have much more than a prolonged viral illness (and I've lost the thread of story already a long time ago), the parents suddenly will throw in something like he's been apathetic since the morning, or refusing to eat, or a funny rash appeared etc., which immediately focuses me on the true problem. If the parents' think the kid is just acting funny and I don't see it, we'll observe together. If after 2-3 hours the parents' seem to be reassured that the kid is fine, discharge. If not, I have a very low threshold for LP. When parents' think the kid is not OK, the burden is on us to prove them wrong. In my experience, 90% of the time they're right!
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