When to Seek Medical Treatment for a Cold

Little girl having flue or allergyThey call it the common cold for a reason: it’s common. Unfortunately, most of us will suffer from a cold at some point in our life. Because the common cold currently has no cure, it must be ridden out with time. However, for children, it’s important to keep an eye on symptoms and seek medical treatment immediately if they become severe.

If your child experiences any of the following symptoms when he or she has a cold, you need to take them to a doctor to rule out a more serious illness.

  • Extreme sweating
  • Shaking chills
  • Aching muscles
  • Uneasy, nauseous feeling
  • Vomiting
  • Fever higher than 102 degrees

If symptoms are severe enough for your child to visit a doctor, he or she can typically be diagnosed with a simple physical examination, with no blood tests or X-rays needed. A doctor will take a look at the eyes, ears, throat and chest to determine if bacteria is causing the illness.

While it’s important to see a doctor if symptoms are severe to rule out a more serious illness, unfortunately, there are few things a doctor can do to treat a cold. An antibiotic may be prescribed to kill bacteria, but will have no effect on the virus that usually causes the cold.

To help prevent your child from catching a cold, make sure he or she is washing their hands frequently and is keeping their hands away from the nose, mouth and eyes. Also, explain to your child how sharing utensils, drinks and other chapstick with friends can spread illness-causing germs.

If you child is suffering from cold-like symptoms that are severe and persistent, visit your closest Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care to speak with a trained health expert who can help. Designed exclusively to meet the needs of children, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care provides quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit. And be sure to check in online to avoid the waiting room.

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