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Parent's Perspective: Spotting symptoms of sickness

Parent's Perspective: Spotting sickness symptoms
Parent's Perspective: Spotting sickness symptoms 02:10

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- In the wake of Thanksgiving, it seems like this cold and flu season have hit the ground running.

We know that doctors offices, urgent care facilities, and emergency rooms are packed right now, so when do you need to seek care?

Dr. Pamela Schoemer from UPMC Children's Community Pediatrics says it's so important to have a good relationship with your pediatrician, who can help guide you.

The two things Dr. Schoemer highlights are dehydration and breathing issues.

She says if your child isn't drinking, has dry lips, saliva that is stringy or tacky, sunken eyes, or crying with no tears, you should seek care.

If they're coughing and struggling to catch their breath or showing signs of breathing problems, you should also seek care.

Dr. Schoemer says there are hundreds of viruses spreading, like the flu and RSV, but lots of others too. She says they're seeing a lot more strep throat this year, hand foot and mouth is recirculating, and the dreaded stomach bug is back, as are ear infections.

Dr. Schoemer added that it's always best to contact your pediatrician's office and that you know your own child, so go with your gut.

Many offices offer video visits now, or even just a simple phone call before or after regular office hours.

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