Carole A. Stashwick, M.D.
Colds are very common, and most children with a “simple” cold do not need to see the doctor. However, some viral respiratory infections result in ear infections, wheezing, or asthma-like coughing, bronchitis or pneumonia (lung infection), and other complications. How can you tell when to call the doctor, and when your doctor needs to see your child for a cold? Call your pediatrician if:
- Your baby is less than 6 weeks of age and develops a fever with a cold.
- Your child’s cough is very frequent, seems to choke him, causes him to vomit or sounds like a seal barking (a “croupy” cough).
- Your child is wheezing or is breathing fast.
- Your child is not eating well, and is not drinking or urinating normally.
- Your child complains of ear pain or a sore throat, repeatedly rubs or pokes one ear, or has a thick bloody discharge from an ear
- Your child’s eyes have a yellow discharge, or the eyelids are stuck together in the morning (conjunctivitis).
- The fever lasts longer than 72 hours, or if the fever returns after being gone for two or three days, at any age.
- The coughing from a cold, or yellow discharge from the nose, lasts longer than two to three weeks.
- Your child seems very ill or in other ways makes you worried.