More than 100 viruses can cause the common cold. Your child’s developing immune system won’t protect them until they’re exposed to some of these, and it’s not unusual for a child to have up to 20 colds before they reach the age of two.
The good news is that, once exposed, they’ll develop immunity to many of these viruses, and the constant parade of stuffy noses will eventually slow down. In the meantime, family remedies like chicken soup and ginger ale combine with time to get your child through these seasonal illnesses.
Sometimes, though, cold symptoms are more severe than usual, and a doctor’s advice can help sidestep complications that go beyond the usual complaints. With infants, it’s important that parents know what to watch for, since they can’t yet give verbal clues. Katy Pediatric Associates is standing by to help you when a cold turns into something beyond the ordinary.
When to see a doctor about your child’s cold symptoms
Most parents are familiar with the common symptoms of a cold, things like runny noses, congestion, and coughing. These typically don’t need professional care, and the standby solution calling for plenty of fluids and rest works best to shorten the cold’s duration.
However, there are times when a cold moves into more concerning territory, and medical advice is a good idea, even if no further treatment is required. These are a few of the conditions that might arise from a cold that should cause you to contact a doctor.
Your child is under 3 months old
A baby is vulnerable in the first few months of their life, so it’s a good idea to visit a pediatrician for any illness during this time, even for something as commonplace as a cold. It’s more likely through this delicate time that a cold could contribute to more serious issues.
Your child has a high fever
The fever threshold for babies is 100.4 degrees F (38 C), while older children can tolerate up to 102 degrees (39 C). When fevers exceed these levels, an urgent doctor’s visit is needed. If lower fevers last more than 72 hours, it’s also time to see a pediatrician.
Though congestion and a runny nose always seem to impede breathing, listen for strange noises when your child’s awake and when they’re sleeping. If they seem to struggle to catch a breath, they need to see a doctor.
Few wet diapers
Colds can affect appetites, and this can lead to dehydration in younger children. If they aren’t wetting a diaper about every six hours, a trip to Katy Pediatric Associates is a good idea.
Signs of ear pain
Children are more prone to painful ear infections because of their smaller drainage tubes, and the congestion from colds can aggravate the problem. Watch for increased fussiness or pulling on the ears.
Trust your instincts as a parent. You’ll know when your child’s behavior drifts too far from normal. You can contact Katy Pediatric Associates by phone at 281-492-7676, or by using the online link to schedule a visit to discuss your child’s unusual cold symptoms.