Children are basically virus and bacteria factories, especially when they’re around other kids at school or play. If you had to rush to the doctor every time they got a sniffle or sneeze, you’d be on the go all the time.
But sometimes, a simple cold or flu needs medical care. You should take extra precautions these days when even minor symptoms could be a sign of infection with COVID-19.
At Enrich Family Practice, our expert nurse practitioners provide newborn to adolescent care at our Odessa, Texas, facility. If your child has cold or flu symptoms, here are a few tips about when to contact us for care.
Colds, flu, and COVID-19 all have similar symptoms. So do allergies. If your child has any of the following mild symptoms (and the key word here is mild), keep them at home for at least 24 hours, and limit contact with other family members:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Decreased appetite
- Reduced sense of smell or taste
- Low fever (101-102 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Slightly swollen glands
Be sure your child gets plenty of rest and plenty of fluids. Healthy options include:
- Warm water with lemon
- Broth or soup
- Ice chips
- Ice pops
- Herbal tea
Avoid sports drinks and even 100% fruit juice. Both of these contain large amounts of sugar, which aren’t healthy. If your child has an appetite, encourage them to eat moisture-rich fruits and vegetables. If they don’t improve in a day or two, please call us.
Fever treatment depends on degree and age
If your child is more than six months old and has a mild fever around 101 degrees, you can control it with acetaminophen. Give 10 to 15 mg per kg of your child’s body weight every four hours. Convert your child’s weight from pounds to kilograms here.
Call us right away if your child has a fever and is:
- 3 months old or younger (even a slight fever)
- 3-6 months old and has a rectal temperature of 101 degrees F or higher
- Six months or older and has a rectal temperature of 103 degrees F
- Older child whose treated fever has lasted for more than three days
Of course, if your child has a fever and severe symptoms, call or visit us right away, too.
Call when symptoms change or worsen
Most colds and flu viruses resolve themselves within a few days. But if symptoms persist or new symptoms develop, call us for an appointment. Developments that should prompt you to seek medical care include:
- Fever over 102 degrees F
- Extreme sleepiness or listlessness
- Extreme fussiness or crankiness
- Rapid or labored breathing
- Persistent or severe cough
- Chest pain
- Stomach pain
- Weak or painful legs or feet
- Back pain
- Red urine
- Severe muscle pain
If you’re not sure their symptoms are severe enough for a visit, give us a call first. Based on your child’s symptoms, we may recommend continued at-home care or may give you an appointment right away. Of course, if your child can’t breathe or is experiencing any sort of crisis, bring them to the emergency room immediately.
Prevent or reduce flu and COVID
You can prevent viral infections or reduce the severity of symptoms with vaccinations. We provide flu shots on the premises.
If your child has the symptoms of a cold, flu, COVID-19, or allergies, call us to get the answers, tests, and recommendations you need. You can reach us by phone at 432-200-9052 or use our online form.