Online Cough and Cold Assessments
Our board-certified pediatricians can treat coughs and colds.
All signs of your child during seasons of cooler weather include sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose, which you are well aware of. In past years, parents expect to see a virus or two float through the house, and they are usually mild and easily treated at home with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications.
Thankfully, our virtual pediatricians can diagnose cough and colds with accurate assessments to get them feeling better. We also can tell them apart from other conditions like the flu and COVID-19, ensuring that you understand what your child suffers from. While all these conditions overlap with similar symptoms, we can identify when your child has one of them from the convenience of your home.
What is a virus?
A virus is a small infectious agent caused by germs that replicate in the human body and produce illness. They may be as mild as a common cold or more severe in cases of influenza or coronavirus. In mild cases, a virus can run its course, and the body will fight it off naturally on its own. More severe cases, though, may require pediatric supervision and intervention.
These three conditions, the cough/cold, the flu, and COVID-19, are all viruses that affect the respiratory tract. They can cause other illnesses, such as strep throat or pneumonia, if they appear in children with other conditions, such as allergies or asthma.
Common Cough/Cold Symptoms
The common cold is typically caused by a rhinovirus spread from person to person through droplets in the air that enter through the eyes, nose, or mouth. These viruses spread when someone coughs, sneezes, spits, or talks.
Colds can strike anyone at any time but are most prevalent in young children during the fall and winter months. They can experience a cold up to 6 times a year, which is why it is crucial for you to watch for these physical signs:
Your Child's Physical Signs
The typical coughs and colds are mild and treatable with at-home remedies, pain relievers (you should always follow the bottle’s dosage amount), and care. A mild cold should run its course within a week to 10 days, and symptoms will not increase or develop into a more serious respiratory illness.
You should always seek medical care for your child if symptoms worsen, if they run a fever for more than two days, experience difficulty breathing, or develop secondary conditions such as an ear or sinus infection. In most cases, children will act relatively normal, and the cold will not affect their energy or mood for an extended period.
Common Flu Symptoms
Influenza (or the flu) is a virus that passes through air droplets or on objects that get into the eyes, nose, and mouth. It is highly contagious from the day before symptoms appear and continues for about five days. New strains of influenza develop each year, so it is possible that, although you have antibodies from a previous strain, you could contract a new strain each year.
Anyone of any age can contract the flu. Flu symptoms are typically more severe than a cold but are still considered mild in healthy individuals. Young children under the age of 5 or those with compromised immune systems are at higher risk and may experience more significant symptoms and complications, such as bacterial infections.
Flu Symptoms in Your Child:
Head and body aches
Lack of appetite
Possible nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
The flu and a cold share many symptoms, but a cold typically develops over several days, while the flu comes on suddenly with more intense symptoms. Often, your child may operate as usual with a cold but will most likely feel sluggish, moody, and experience a lack of appetite when suffering from the flu.
Mild flu cases are treatable at home, but if your child’s symptoms do not decrease or last an extended time period, they need to see a board-certified pediatrician. The kid’s doctor may run a test to confirm the virus’s presence and provide an effective treatment option.
COVID-19 Symptoms in Children
COVID-19 is a newly-developed infectious disease that tends to affect adults more severely than children. It can have a variety of symptoms in children and look different in each person. Some COVID-positive children do not experience any symptoms, while others may experience cough and flu-like symptoms. The only sign that is unique to COVID-19, however, is the lack of taste and smell.
If you suspect that your child has COVID, it is vital to have a doctor administer a test to confirm. COVID-19 is very contagious for 10 days or more and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, requires a fairly strict household quarantine period, even if symptoms are mild.
COVID vaccines are available for people ages 12 and older; anatomic pathologies are still conducting studies for children younger than 12. In the meantime, you can teach your kids healthy habits for preventing the spread of viruses to keep them well.
How to Prevent the Spread of Viruses
Wash your hands often
Do not return to work or school until fever-free for 24 hours or after 10 days of COVID-19
Avoid people who are sick
Disinfect high-touch areas, such as door knobs, light switches, phones, countertops, etc.
Telehealth Treatment for Cough and Cold
As a parent, you know your child best, and if something seems wrong, you should trust your gut and seek a doctor’s opinion. Your children can see a board-certified kid doctor with our virtual pediatric services from the comfort of your home.
Our doctors are available day and night to diagnose and treat your child’s symptoms through a virtual consultation. You can make a free $0 visit cost appointment today so our caring team can
diagnose and treat your child’s cough and cold.