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When should you call a doctor if your baby has a cold?

ANSWER

You don't need to call a doctor for a cold if your baby is over 3 months old. In younger infants, make the call when symptoms start -- especially if your baby has a fever. Cold-like symptoms might actually signal a more serious illness, such as pneumonia or an ear infection. You’ll feel better if you check on it.

No matter what your child's age, call the doctor if you notice any of these more serious symptoms:

Also call if your baby doesn't get better after a week or so, or if the symptoms get worse.

  • Fever of 102 F or higher
  • Trouble breathing
  • Not wanting to eat or drink
  • Signs of dehydration, such as no tears or fewer wet diapers than usual
  • Unusual sleepiness

From: When Your Baby Has a Cold WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Children and Colds," "Water & Juice."

FDA: "An Important FDA Reminder for Parents: Do Not Give Infants Cough and Cold Products Designed for Older Children," "Have a Baby or Young Child With a Cold? Most Don't Need Medicines."

Nemours Foundation: "Common Cold."

Paediatrics & Child Health: "Colds in Children."

Stanford Children's Health: "Upper Respiratory Infection (URI or Common Cold)."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 08, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Children and Colds," "Water & Juice."

FDA: "An Important FDA Reminder for Parents: Do Not Give Infants Cough and Cold Products Designed for Older Children," "Have a Baby or Young Child With a Cold? Most Don't Need Medicines."

Nemours Foundation: "Common Cold."

Paediatrics & Child Health: "Colds in Children."

Stanford Children's Health: "Upper Respiratory Infection (URI or Common Cold)."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 08, 2018

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When should I call the doctor about my child's stomachache?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.