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When should my child be seen?

Although the winter weather may be off to a late start, the respiratory infection season is upon us. Throughout the U.S. and local community, infants and children are experiencing upper respiratory infections caused by Rhinovirus, RSV, Influenza and COVID.


The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated for Influenza and COVID along with taking precautions such as frequent hand washing, keeping hands away from your eyes and nose, and avoiding high touch areas like indoor playgrounds or ball pits. Most infants and children will get these illnesses and be fine. In fact, only about 3% of children that get RSV are hospitalized. If your child becomes ill, give them plenty of fluids, ibuprofen (if older than 6months) or Tylenol if febrile and feeling sick, along with nasal saline and suctioning. Children older than a year can use honey to help with a cough.


When does your child need to be seen?

If less than 2 months of age;

  • Fever greater than 100.4

For all infants/children;​

  • Worsening symptoms after 10-14 days

  • Secondary fever -- fever after being sick for several days, which may indicate a bacterial infection

  • Respiratory distress -- retracting chest and breathing faster than 60 times a minute


The natural course of illnesses:

Influenza: Very sudden onset of fever/chills/feeling really sick. Fever often comes with onset of symptoms.

RSV: Lots of nasal congestion and coughing that will worsen about day 3-5; may additionally experience a low grade fever. Call our office if your child develops a secondary fever, has difficulty breathing, breathing more than 60 times a minute, or if they're unable to eat or drink.

Rhinovirus/Cold Viruses: Gradual onset of runny nose, cough, and sore throat. Sore throat more likely to be strep if experiencing less cold symptoms and accompanied by a fever, headache, and/or abdominal pain.


Return to school or daycare:

Requiring testing of children, particularly asymptomatic children, for RSV to return to a group setting is not consistent with medical recommendations.  For additional information, please see the notice sent to medical providers from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics on November 15th, 2022.


Please call 320-281-3339 if your child is not following the normal course of an illness, has developed a secondary fever, respiratory distress, or exhibiting signs of lethargy.

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