When to Call the Doctor About Your Child’s Cold - American Medical Centers (Lviv)

When to Call the Doctor About Your Child’s Cold

Carole A. Stashwick, M.D.

Colds are very common, and most children with a “simple” cold do not need to see the doctor. However, some viral respiratory infections result in ear infections, wheezing, or asthma-like coughing, bronchitis or pneumonia (lung infection), and other complications. How can you tell when to call the doctor, and when your doctor needs to see your child for a cold? Call your pediatrician if:

  • Your baby is less than 6 weeks of age and develops a fever with a cold.
  • Your child’s cough is very frequent, seems to choke him, causes him to vomit or sounds like a seal barking (a “croupy” cough).
  • Your child is wheezing or is breathing fast.
  • Your child is not eating well, and is not drinking or urinating normally.
  • Your child complains of ear pain or a sore throat, repeatedly rubs or pokes one ear, or has a thick bloody discharge from an ear
  • Your child’s eyes have a yellow discharge, or the eyelids are stuck together in the morning (conjunctivitis).
  • The fever lasts longer than 72 hours, or if the fever returns after being gone for two or three days, at any age.
  • The coughing from a cold, or yellow discharge from the nose, lasts longer than two to three weeks.
  • Your child seems very ill or in other ways makes you worried.
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