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 relieverslike 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 fluidsto 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.