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We are seeing a spike in respiratory illness, especially in children and older adults. We are writing to let you know that we are always here for you and will ensure you get the care you need, when you need it. The Ontario College of Family Physicians has provided some valuable tips on caring for children with respiratory symptoms.  

Most respiratory illness in children, including colds, influenza, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and COVID-19 can be managed at home without the need for prescription medications. However, in some cases, it is important to seek medical care.  

Please feel free to call us if you have the following symptoms: 
  • A fever lasting 72 hours or longer 
  • A fever that went away for a day or longer (without fever medication) and then came back 
  • Your child is   unusually irritable and won’t stop fussing, even after treating their fever.  
  • An earache lasting more than 48 hours 
  • Not eating or drinking as usual. Note that it’s normal to eat and drink less when sick. Liquids are more important than food 
  • Has special needs that make caring for them more difficult 
  • Any other reason that you as a parent or guardian feel that your child needs to be seen by a clinician 

Please call 911 or go to the emergency department when: 

  • You are worried that you are seriously ill 
  • Your infant, younger than three months old, has a fever 
  • You are struggling to breathe or is breathing faster than normal 
  • You are concerned that you are at risk of dehydration or are dehydrated 

Helping yourself at home: 

  • Fever: Treat fever or pain with over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen if your child can take it and if it is available.  
    • For Pediatric Acetaminophen & Ibuprofen pediatric  dosing click here 
    • For Adults Tylenol 500-1000mg every 4-6 hours as needed (max 3g/day);  Advil 400-600mg every 6-8 hours as needed (max 3.2 mg/day). Check in with your health care provider if you have any kidney or liver disease for dosage changes.  
  • Red eyes and discharge: These symptoms almost always go away on their own, without antibiotic drops or other medication. Warm compresses and artificial tears can help reduce discomfort. ( clean your eye from the inside corner toward outside of eye) (1)   


  • Stuffy and runny nose: Try saline rinsing sprays, a humidifier or a nasal aspirator. 
  • Earache: If you notice your child tugging on their ear, they may have an earache. Get assessed if your child’s earache lasts more than 48-72 hours, if there is discharge from the ear or they have had more than 2-3 ear infections in the last year. 
  • Cough: Treat a cough with a humidifier or the steam from a shower. If the cough sounds like a bark, cool outside air may help. If your child is at least one year old, you can give them 1-2 teaspoons of honey in the evening.  
  • Strep throat symptoms : Sore throat,  Fever ,Cough absent or present ,Other symptoms could be present  
  • Fluids: Make sure your child gets enough fluids, including water, soups, sports drinks or even popsicles. Breastmilk/formula is enough for young babies who do not drink other fluids. Try sugar free Electrolytes drinks.  

Please stay healthy and prevent illness for you and your loved ones:  

  • Stay home and keep your child home when they are sick, especially in the first couple of days when most infectious 
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands 
  • Wash your hands often and well; use hand sanitizer when washing is not possible 
  • Recommandation : If you find yourself  in crowded, public indoor spaces consider wearing a mask if you do not feel well.
    • Get the flu shot and keep COVID-19 doses up to date . Ask about the new RSV vaccine!

Thank you and stay safe. 
Credit valley Family Health Team 

[The Ontario College of Family Physician. Family Doctors tip on Caring for Children with Respiratory Symptoms. 2022. Available from: https://www.ontariofamilyphysicians.ca/files/ocfp_actionsparentscantake.pdf

1. How to Clean an Eye. https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=abl2450&lang=en-ca#:~:text=To%20keep%20the%20eye%20clean,cotton%20ball%20or%20face%20cloth