Taking care of your health should be paramount year-round. Even when everything is normal and life is like it once was, it can still be difficult to monitor your own physical health, not to mention your children’s. When a global pandemic is tossed into the mix, however, things can get a lot more complicated.

Every year, people — especially parents — have to worry about the flu, the cold, and seasonal allergies. This year (and possibly for the foreseeable future), everyone has to be even more cautious and focus on coronavirus symptoms, as well. 

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It’s important to know how to identify the various signs and symptoms of all four of these conditions:

COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Fever or chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

It’s important to note that coronavirus symptoms can appear between two and 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Flu Symptoms

  • Fever or feeling feverish or chills
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches

Seasonal Allergies Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
  • Ear congestion
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Coughing

Common Cold Symptoms

  • Rhinorrhea
  • Fever
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Throat irritation or laryngitis
  • Cough
  • Sneezing

Obviously many of these symptoms are similar and could vary in severity. That’s why it’s important to be extra cautious nowadays — at least until the worldwide spread of the coronavirus dies down. But for now, every respiratory issue needs to be taken extremely seriously.

If you suspect you, your child, or another loved one has COVID-19, you need to seek professional medical attention right away. Since social distancing is still being encouraged across the country, it’s best to simply consult with a doctor via telehealth. They will be able to properly diagnose your condition and either inform you to head to a treatment center, stay quarantined, or just get some rest (in the case of common cold, flu, or allergies).

Treatment

COVID-19 has already changed the world in many ways. This is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously seen in humans. And it’s spreading very quickly across the globe. There are actually four other strains of the coronavirus that are quite common and typically cause mild symptoms (like those associated with the common cold). The COVID-19 virus can cause severe illness and death in certain groups, especially those with severe underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. Currently, there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19.

Unfortunately, antibiotics can’t be taken to address any of these conditions — especially viral infections. However, vaccinations can be taken to prevent the flu, but not the coronavirus. If you have received a flu shot and still get the flu, you can typically expect milder symptoms. All you’ll have to do is stay home, get plenty of rest, and treat your fever with ibuprofen.

Most Severe Symptoms of COVID-19

There are a few symptoms of COVID-19 that need to be addressed right away. You should call emergency medical services if you or a loved one have any of the following symptoms:

  • Trouble taking a single breath
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Blue face or blue lips
  • Confusion
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

As a parent and a responsible adult, you should always be monitoring your health and your family’s health. But since the coronavirus is much more serious than the common flu, common cold, and seasonal allergies, make sure you’re being even more vigilant when it comes to your family’s health. Good luck and stay safe!