It's tough to see your child coughing, sneezing, or complaining of fatigue. Unfortunately, colds and the flu are a part of childhood and a part of life. Most children recover from these illnesses within a few days or a week with no lasting consequences. But that still begs the question: does your child need to see the pediatrician if they have a cold or the flu? That depends. Here are a few signs that indicate a visit to the doctor is in order.

Your child is less than one year old.

The flu is far more dangerous for infants than it is for older children. If your child is less than a year old, make an appointment with their pediatrician to be on the safe side. They may very well only have a common cold, but it's tough to tell at this age when they can't express what they're feeling very well. A pediatrician can assess their breathing and make sure the condition does not develop into pneumonia, which is a real concern at this age.

They have a fever of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the symptoms include a fever, the flu is almost always to blame. Babies less than 3 months old should see the doctor for any fever. For older children, a mild fever of 101 or 102 degrees is nothing too serious and can be treated at home. Give your child plenty of fluids, and have them take a cool bath to lower their temperature. If their fever climbs higher than this, though, a visit to the pediatrician is in order. High fevers can have lasting consequences, and the pediatrician can make sure the fever is brought down.

They are not drinking fluids.

Dehydration is a common side effect of colds and the flu, and it can be worse than the illness itself. If your child is not drinking fluids, then dehydration is on the horizon. It's best to get them to a pediatrician before they become any more dehydrated. The doctor can administer fluids via IV if needed, and they can give them medications to make them more thirsty.

They are lethargic.

It's normal for a child to feel tired when they are sick, but if they become downright lethargic, this is a bigger concern. The lethargy is typically due to dehydration or a high fever. Call the pediatrician, and in the meantime, encourage them to drink cool liquids.

Many colds and bouts of the flu can be treated at home, but sometimes, you do need to call the pediatrician. Keep the guidelines above in mind to keep your little one safe.

To learn more, contact a resource like BETTER FOOT CARE LLC.