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Home Remedies for Children's Colds and Flu

Sore Throat: When to Call a Doctor

Give your child's pediatrician a call if, along with a sore throat, your child has:

  • Problems breathing
  • Great difficulty swallowing
  • A stiff neck
  • Signs of dehydration, which can include dry mouth, a lack of tears, decreased energy, and problems peeing
  • A fever over 104° F
  • If sore throat lasts more than two days

Fever: Tips to Help Your Child Feel Better

A fever means your child's body is trying to fight an infection. You can help it do its job with these quick tips.

  • Use pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These can help relieve a fever in children older than 6 months -- but be sure to talk to your doctor about the right dosage. Never give aspirin to a child under 18 years old due to the risk of potentially deadly Reye syndrome.
  • Offer cool fluids to help keep your child hydrated and reduce heat loss.
  • Dress your child lightly to avoid overheating. For example, in one layer of light clothing and one light blanket.
  • Sponge your child with lukewarm water to help relieve the discomfort of a high fever; stop if your child becomes cold.

Fever: When to Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if your child has a fever and also:

  • Facial pain
  • Yellow or green nasal discharge
  • A rash
  • A stiff neck
  • If the fever is over 104° F or if a fever of 103° F or less lasts more than three days
  • If your child is less than 6 months or not immunized
  • Vomiting more than once

You know your child best. If you're worried about any symptom -- whether cold, flu, fever, or sore throat -- put your mind at ease, give your doctor a call.

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Reviewed on March 26, 2012

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