Q: I think my child has the flu. Should we go to the Emergency Room?

A: You should first contact your pediatrician, but if your child has an extremely high fever — more than 104 degrees — or is acting unusual, for example very sleepy or irritable, you should consider seeking immediate medical attention.

Winter is a common time for infectious illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, or lung infections, or the flu; ensuring your child gets a flu shot can prevent or reduce the severity of influenza.

Flu shots are especially important for children with chronic illnesses, such as asthma.

If your child does need emergency care, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital has an emergency room just for kids 24/7 and staffed by specially trained emergency medicine doctors and nurses who treat only children.

David M. Spiro, M.D., M.P.H.
Medical Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
OHSU Doernbecher Pediatric Emergency Department