GREENSBORO, N.C. — Cough, congestion, and fever, all are common symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.
But for children, those can be signs of something much more serious.
"The one that's on the rise is RSV right now. We are starting to see that fast uphill climb," said Alison Gardner, a pediatrician with Novant Health.
She says RSV cases are on the rise and are showing up sooner than usual.
"It's just a lot of viral, cough, cold, I called at the back to school, crud that the kids are sharing," said Dr. Gardner.
Dr. Gardner says children typically catch four to eight viruses a year.
Most of those during the winter months and most are nothing to be overly concerned about.
But there are some things to watch for.
"I tell parents, hey, if we have fever, and it's not going away in three or four days, it's still remaining, we need to check out other bacterial causes setting up," said Dr. Gardner.
Dr. Gardner says these viruses can lead to pneumonia or ear infections.
That's exactly what happened last week to Brooke Cummings's eight-year-old son.
He was diagnosed with RSV, but only after they were forced to take him to the ER.
"Just watching him on the camera and just hear him, the trouble breathing and catching his breath, I cannot name sleepless nights that I stood over him and watched him or put him in our bed because I was too scared to let him sleep by himself," said Cummings.
When the sniffles reach your child, Dr. Gardner also reminds parents to be cautious when it comes to over-the-counter cough and cold medicines.
"You can go to the store and it's just mind-boggling the number of cold and cough remedies for children. It's because a lot of them don't work too well, I'll be honest with you. Under two years old, the cough and cold remedies at the store or not often recommended, and can be dangerous so I recommend staying with just plain Tylenol, generic acetaminophen or Motrin or Advil," said Dr. Gardner.
If it's a cough you or your child are fighting, Dr. Gardner says an easy remedy is old fashioned honey.
She also recommends children, six-months and older, get a flu shot.
Be sure to contact your pediatrician, who will have the best recommendations for the care of your child.