If your child catches a cold, the sneezing, runny nose, and headache can last up to two weeks; his low-grade fever (between 100.4°F and 102°F) should ease up after a few days. But call your pediatrician if symptoms are severe or if your child develops a sore throat, rapid or labored breathing, ear pain, or ear discharge, says New York City pediatrician Nathalie Stern, M.D. Any fever in an infant under 3 months also warrants medical attention. Here's help spotting more serious winter illnesses.
|Flu||Pneumonia||RSV (respiratory synclinal virus)|
|Sudden and severe cold-like symptoms, fever, chills; also nausea muscle aches, fatigue, and vomiting.||Cold- and flu like ailments; also fast labored breathing, wheezing, and a persistent cough.||Cold symptoms at first, cough becomes more pronounced, and child develops wheezing and difficulty breathing.|
|Lots of fluids and rest, a bland diet to quell nausea, and acetaminophen or ibuprofen if fever is making your child uncomfortable||See a doctor. Serious cases may require hospitalization. Bacterial pneumonia can be cured with antibiotics.||If your child is very ill, he may need to be hospitalized to receive oxygen and hydration. Prescription drugs are also available.|