When to Call the Doctor About Your Child's Cold or Flu

Fall is in full swing, which means some children will start missing school because of colds and flus. While you can often treat your child’s illness at home, it is important to know when you need a physician’s help.

You should call your child’s physician if they have:

  • Pre-existing conditions. If your child has asthma or diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2, a cold or flu can greatly impact their health. Talk to your physician about how to handle their conditions while they are sick.
  • A high fever. Flus can cause high fevers in children. If your child has a fever over 104, take them to the emergency room immediately. Depending on the age of your child, their symptoms and how long they’ve had the fever, you may need to contact a physician. Find out more.
  • Coughed up yellow, brown or green mucus. If your child has strange-colored mucus, they may have an infection like bronchitis or pneumonia that requires medical treatment. Infants may also be susceptible to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) which can be life-threatening in some instances.
    If medicines are not helping or symptoms last longer than five to seven days, call your physician. Your child may have another infection or illnesses that is causing cold- or flu-like symptoms.

For your family’s healthcare needs, visit Indiana University Health, where you’ll find highly skilled, compassionate physicians and advanced providers in locations throughout Indiana.

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