is your child ill?

  • Cough & Cold

    • Cold medications are not approved for children under 4 years old.
    • Please do not give any medication to infants less than 2 months old.
    • Causes: Colds are caused by many different types of viruses. It is normal for your child to get 8-12 colds per year, which occur more frequently during the winter time. Since each cold can last 2-3 weeks, it may seem like your child is always sick!
    • Symptoms: fevers (usually the first 2-4 days), runny nose and congestion (can last up to 2 weeks), cough (can last up to 3 weeks), sore throat and body aches.
    • What to do: There are not great treatments for a cold. The cold will resolve with time. In general, treatment is for the symptoms of the cold.
      • Nasal Saline can be used to help with congestion and runny nose. For infants and toddlers, place a few drops of nasal saline into each nostril and let sit for ~1-2 minutes, the use a bulb suction or the nose frida. For older children, place a few drops of nasal saline into each nostril and let sit for ~1-2 minutes, and then have child blow their nose. You can also try a neti pot which helps with sinus rinses and to open up the nasal passages. Nasal saline can be used at least 4 times per day or whenever your child is congested.
      • Honey (NOT for children < 1 year) can be used to help with cough. You can give your child 1 to 2 teaspoons as needed.
      • A Humidifier can help to prevent the dry air from exacerbating the cough. If you do not have a humidifier, bringing your child into the bathroom with a hot steamy shower can also help with congestion and cough.
      • Extra pillows at night time to help prop your child up can help with coughing while asleep.
      • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can be used as needed for fever, throat pain, or body aches.
      • Frequent hand washing is important to prevent others from getting sick. In addition, encourage your child to cough into their elbow to help prevent the spread of the virus to others.
    • When to see the doctor: fever >100.4 for > 3-4 days, difficulty breathing, cough not improving after > 2 weeks, cough that has not resolved in >3 weeks, runny nose > 2 weeks, ear pain, sore throat > 2-3 days, or if your child is unable to drink liquids and has decreased urine output.