When Do Children Need Urgent Care for Cold and Flu Symptoms

cold and flu symptoms

Did you know that around 18 million Americans had to visit a health care provider during this year’s flu season?

Although the cold and flu are a minor inconvenience for most people, children and elderly people are at a higher risk due to their weakened immune systems. If you’ve got young kids at home, it’s important to learn about the difference between cold and flu symptoms and when you should seek help.

Are you getting prepared for this upcoming cold and flu season? Keep reading for 5 signs that you should take your child to a doctor.

1. Cold and Flu Symptoms That Won’t Go Away

Cold and flu virus symptoms can vary from person to person, but it’s normal to feel run-down for a week or two after getting sick. Although you might not feel 100% well again fast, these illnesses should have a curve where symptoms get progressively better. If you notice that your child has been experiencing unpleasant symptoms and shows no signs of improvement, you should get medical care.

2. High Fever

It’s true that some people can get cold and flu symptoms but no fever. In most cases, though, our immune systems run warmer than usual to help fight off the germs. Not only are over-the-counter cold and flu medicines great at reducing uncomfortable symptoms, but they can also keep fevers at a safe temperature.

If your child has a temperature that’s approaching 102 degrees and they’re not responding to OTC treatments, don’t delay calling a health care professional.

3. Dehydration

Drinking lots of fluids is important to keep our immune systems strong and fight off fevers. When we feel under the weather, though, it can be challenging to remember to drink enough water. If you’re also experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, your body will have an even harder time retaining enough fluid.

Symptoms of dehydration in children can include a dry mouth, infrequent urination, irritability, and having no tears while crying.

4. Lethargy

Everyone should get plenty of rest when they’re sick so they can have a speedy recovery. However, there’s a big difference between taking a nap and extreme lethargy. If your child’s energy levels are low and they’re not acting like themselves, it’s a good idea to get them checked out.

5. Difficulty Breathing

Since the cold and flu attack our respiratory system, a stuffy nose, sore throat, and coughing are common symptoms. OTC medicines like nasal sprays and cough syrup can usually provide immediate relief so you can breathe easier. In some cases, children can still have a hard time getting enough oxygen even with the help of these medicines.

If you notice that your child is having a hard time breathing, you should seek immediate care.

Are You Experiencing Severe Cold and Flu Symptoms?

Cold and flu symptoms are never pleasant, but it’s important to learn when it’s time to seek professional care. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s always better to get checked out instead of worrying.

If you or someone in your family is experiencing severe cold or flu symptoms, Oxford Urgent Care is here to help you get better. Call us if you’d like to learn more about our services, get directions to our clinic, and more.