Kiddo Got a Cold? When to Ride it Out, When to Call the Doc

by |  September 7th, 2016

It’s the start germ-y season. This time of year usually commences with back-to-school, just when kids return to their daycare and classrooms. Sigh.

On average, kids get up to eight colds a year. For babies and toddlers, it might be many more and include some other fun diseases like Hand-Foot-and-Mouth or Fifth’s Disease.child with cold

And it’s no wonder they get sick so much. In between running around the playground, sharing water bottles, sitting at their tables and desks…well, a child with a runny nose doesn’t have time to get a tissue!

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the cold. Medicines treat the symptoms, like fever and aches and pains. Most often the best “medicine” is to ride it out…sleep, rest, fluids and repeat.

So, when should you call your doctor or nurse? Here are 5 times we want to get a call from you:

  • Fever in a newborn. If your baby is under 2-months-old and has a rectal temperature (the most precise way to measure) of 100.4 degrees or higher we want to hear from you. Babies’ immune systems aren’t strong enough to handle infections, yet.
  • Marathon coughing session or struggling to breathe, meaning the ribs are sucking in when he’s breathing. It may be asthma, RSV or pneumonia.
  • Bounce back fever. In office tests can help us rule out illnesses like RSV, Flu and Strep throat.
  • Stomach pain for a couple of hours. If it’s on the right side of their stomach, it could be the appendix.
  • Because it doesn’t feel right. You know your child better than anyone. Trust your instincts.

We know kids don’t get sick just during the regular business hours. Remember, 411 Pediatrics after hours care is open until 6 p.m. during the week and from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on weekends.

Dr. Cacey Adams

|, , , 411 Pediatrics Infants Medical Toddlers


Dr. Ari Brown is a pediatrician and a mom. Dr. Brown is Board Certified and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has been in private practice for over 20 years. Her passion to advocate for children and educate families extends beyond the office setting. She is the co-author the bestselling "411" parenting book series including Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Pregnancy, Baby 411, and Toddler 411. Dr. Brown has received several professional awards including the Ralph Feigin, MD Award for Professional Excellence, the prestigious Profiles in Power Award by the Austin Business Journal for her service to the community, Austin's Favorite Pediatrician by Austin Family Magazine, and Texas Monthly Magazine's Super Doctor.

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