Having a sick child is concerning and, frankly, a little scary regardless of whether they?re suffering from a cough, cold, or stomach bug and even if you?re not new to parenting, seeing your usual bundle of joy reduced to a bundle of blankets and sniffles can be disconcerting. But how do you know when you should take your child to the doctor? What?s the difference between a normal cold and the flu?
Common cold symptoms
Colds are annoying, but one of the good things about them is that their symptoms are relatively similar despite the multitudes of different strains. Common cold symptoms include stuffy nose and sinus pressure, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, and tiredness.
Common flu symptoms
The flu is the common cold?s horrible second cousin. Flu symptoms are usually similar to that of a cold, but more extreme. Tiredness in colds, for example, is usually seen as exhaustion when it?s the flu and headaches caused by sinus pressure can be guaranteed. However, one of the biggest differences between a cold and the flu is a fever.
Fevers in patients suffering from the common cold are extremely rare and when they do happen, it?s usually in small children. If your child is slightly older with a fever anywhere between 102 and 104 and they?re suffering from body aches on top of the usual cold symptoms it?s safe to assume your child has the flu.
What do I do if my child has the flu?
The best thing to do if your child has the flu is to see your pediatrician. There?s no need to go to the Emergency Room unless your child has a rash along with their fever, their skin is a bluish color, they?re not waking up or interacting with those around them, or they?re not drinking enough fluids.
What do I do if my pediatrician?s office isn?t open?
48% of patients visiting the Emergency Room are visiting because they couldn?t get ahold of their doctor or their physician’s? office was closed. If you?re unable to get ahold of your pediatrician, but your child isn?t showing signs of emergency flu symptoms, consider taking them to a local urgent care for kids.
What is urgent care?
A common question among patients unfamiliar with specific medical care is ?What is urgent care??
Urgent care is a medical center that offers medical care and treatment to patients who need to be seen immediately. Urgent care is convenient for those who are away from their usual doctor or who experience symptoms of an illness outside of their doctor?s regular office hours.
Is urgent care a good option for me?
If you?re unable to see your pediatrician at a time that works for you, urgent care is a great option. Some urgent care centers open as early as 9:00 AM while others close as late as 7:00 PM. You can also guarantee that with urgent care time will be on your side — 57% of urgent care patients, according to The Urgent Care Association of America, wait 15 minutes or less to be seen and appointments often take less than an hour. After all, what is urgent care without a sense of urgency?