skip to Main Content
medicarehealth medicarehealthsa +27 11 794 6602

When should you see a doctor with a cold?

Most colds can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications but sometimes complications can occur that warrant visiting the doctor.

Children – seek medical attention if you have: 1,2

  • Fever of 38,0 0C in new born babies, up to 12 weeks
  • Rising fever or fever lasting more than 2 days in a child of any age
  • Symptoms that worsen or fail to improve
  • Severe symptoms, such as headache or cough
  • Trouble breathing, fast breathing or wheezing
  • Bluish skin colour
  • Ear pain or drainage from the ear
  • Extreme fussiness or irritability
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting or abdominal pain

Adults – seek medical attention if you have: 1,2

  • Fever greater than 38,5 0C with fatigue and body aches and pains
  • Fever lasting 5 days or more or returning after a fever-free period
  • Symptoms that last for more than 10 days or get worse instead of better
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Severe sore throat, headache or sinus pain in your face or forehead
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Very swollen glands in the neck or jaw

References: 1. Mayo Clinic. Common cold. [online] [cited 2018 Mar 19]. Available from: URL: 2. American Academy of Family Physicians. Colds and the Flu. [online] 2016 Dec 1 [cited 2018 Mar 19]. Available from: URL:

Next & Previous Posts

Back To Top