Common Cold & Flu, When to See a Doctor

Updated: Oct 29, 2020


There is no cure for a cold. To feel better, you should get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. salinose may help ease symptoms but will not make your cold go away any faster.


Always read the label and use medications as directed. Talk to your doctor before giving your child nonprescription cold medicines, since some medicines contain ingredients that are not recommended for children.


Antibiotics will not help you recover from a cold caused by a respiratory virus. They do not work against viruses, and they may make it harder for your body to fight future bacterial infections if you take them unnecessarily.


You should call your doctor if you or your child has one or more of these conditions:

  • symptoms that last more than 10 days

  • symptoms that are severe or unusual

  • if your child is younger than 3 months of age and has a fever or is lethargic

You should also call your doctor right away if you are at high risk for serious flu complications and get flu symptoms such as fever, chills, and muscle or body aches. People at high risk for flu complications include young children (younger than 5 years old), adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

Your doctor can determine if you or your child has a cold or the flu and can recommend treatment to help with symptoms.

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