July 5, 2024

Colds and the flu are illnesses associated with winter, but kids can get them in the summer as well. Jamie Kondis, MD, a Washington University pediatrician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, says that two common illnesses she sees in the summer months are respiratory viruses and viral gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu.

Respiratory virus symptoms include trouble breathing, cough, wheezing and fast breathing.

Viral gastroenteritis symptoms include fever, vomiting and diarrhea. It can also cause dehydration. If your child has blood in their vomit or stool, or they have severe stomach pains, you should take them to the emergency department. 

If your child has these symptoms, call their pediatrician. At home, you can help your child by giving them plenty of fluids, fever-reducing medication and allowing them to rest. 

If your child has a virus, our Washington University Children’s After Hours locations provide convenient medical care for your child’s illnesses and injuries as a faster alternative to the emergency department when your pediatrician’s office is closed. In most cases, children can be seen here or in a BJC Medical Group Convenient Care, rather than in the emergency department.

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