Cold and Flu: When to Seek Health Care

Parent’s often have questions about when they should take their child to the doctor.

Call 911 or your local emergency number if your child:

  • has severe trouble breathing or blue lips;
  • is limp or unable to move;
  • is hard to wake up or does not respond;
  • has a stiff neck or severe headache;
  • seems confused; or
  • has a seizure (convulsion/fit)

Take your child to an emergency department if your child:

  • is less than 3 months old and has a temperature of 38°C or more;
  • has trouble breathing when resting, is wheezing, has chest pain when breathing or is coughing up bloody sputum (phlegm or saliva);
  • is showing signs of dehydration (fewer than 4 wet diapers in 24 hours, increased thirst, no tears, dry skin, mouth and tongue, faster heartbeat, sunken eyes, grayish skin, sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on baby’s head);
  • is constantly irritable and will not calm down;
  • is listless, not interested in playing with toys or unusually sleepy.

Contact your child’s Health Care provider:

  • If your child still has a fever after 5 days or was feeling better and then suddenly develops a new fever.
  • If your child has a bad earache or sore throat.
  • If your child has symptoms of influenza and has a condition listed below that may put them at a higher risk of complications:
    • Asthma
    • Diabetes, kidney, heart disease or lung disease
    • Morbid obesity
    • Neurologic conditions including cerebral palsy, muscle weakness, seizures and developmental delay
    • Heart disease such as congenital heart disease and congestive heart failure
    • Blood disorders such as sickle cell disease
    • Immune system problems or taking medications that suppress the immune system (such as chemotherapy)
    • Receiving long-term aspirin therapy for chronic disorders
Not sure where to go for health care in Manitoba?