My Child Is Sick. Do I Need To See A Doctor?

With winter just around the corner, we’ve had an influx of parents bringing their kids into the clinic with cold and flu-like symptoms. Most commonly, these kids have symptoms of cough, runny rose, sore throats, and sometimes low-grade fever (between 38 and 39 Celsius, or 100.4 and 102.2 Fahrenheit). Most of these illnesses are classified as “upper respiratory tract infections” or URIs and are generally caused by several classes of viruses.

With COVID still a daily concern, it’s easy to forget that colds are also a normal part of life, especially for children. The average child will experience anywhere from 2 to 8 upper respiratory infections before the age of 2, while kids in daycare can have as many as 14 in a year. Older children and adults on average suffer from 3 to 6 URIs a year.

Most upper respiratory tract infections are caused by viruses, and antibiotics don’t generally help. They last about 7 to 9 days on average, but in some cases can last as long as 15 days. URIs tend to spread rapidly among children due to close contact with each other and shared surfaces. 

There is no quick cure for a URI, with most treatments being supportive in nature. Tylenol, Advil or Motrin can be used for fever and pain. For children over age 1, a teaspoon of honey, either given straight or dissolved in warm water, can reduce coughing. Avoid cough syrups in children under 6, and do not give honey to infants under age 1.

When should you seek medical attention? Situations where you should bring your child to see a doctor include:

If you are unsure if your child needs medical attention, please bring your child in to see us. We would rather be safe than sorry.

Dr. Bing Wu
Family Physician

Return to Article Library

Book a Consult
  • Schedule
    your complimentary

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.