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How should I treat my child when he has a cold or flu?

Health and Wellness
Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, Mo.

Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and fluids, such as water or 100% fruit juice, especially if your child has diarrhea or vomiting. Giving her a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (not aspirin), for fever is OK if taken as directed. But don't give your child an over-the-counter cold remedy without first talking to your doctor. Many of these medicines are no longer recommended for children.

If symptoms continue after three days and your child is still running a fever, call your doctor. It's also helpful to contact the school nurse and ask what she sees going on at school. Is she noticing strep throat? Other illnesses? Ask what you should be watching for.

And call your doctor if the symptoms persist beyond three days, your child's fever is higher than 101F, or your child has ear pain, a worsening cough, or a sinus-type headache.