A Pediatrician's Advice for Cold & Flu Season - UnityPoint Health
Appointment Icon

Express Care - Bettendorf

3415 53rd Avenue
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Express Care - Moline

106 19th Avenue
Suite 103
Moline, Illinois 61265

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Express Care - North Port

3426 North Port Drive
Suite 200
Muscatine, Iowa 52761

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Express Care - SouthPark Pointe

3904 16th Street
Moline, Illinois 61265

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Proctor First Care - East Peoria

2535 E. Washington St.
East Peoria, Illinois 61611

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Proctor First Care - Peoria Heights

1120 E. War Memorial Drive
Peoria Heights, Illinois 61616

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Bett Plex)

5185 Competition Dr.
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Jordan Creek)

180 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 120
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Morton)

1909 North Morton Avenue
Morton, Illinois 61550

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (North Crossing)

2134 Logan Ave.
Suite A
Waterloo, Iowa 50703

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Peck's Landing)

1940 Blairs Ferry Road
Suite 104
Hiawatha, Iowa 52233

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Peoria)

8914 N. Knoxville Avenue
Peoria, Illinois 61604

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Prairie Parkway)

5100 Prairie Parkway
Suite 101
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (San Marnan)

1655 E San Marnan Dr.
Suite H
Waterloo, Iowa 50702

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (United Medical Park)

1731 W Ridgeway Ave.
Suite 100
Waterloo, Iowa 50701

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Washington)

209 N. Cummings Lane
Washington, Illinois 61571

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waukee)

950 E. Hickman Road
Waukee, Iowa 50263

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waverly)

101 Cedar River Pkwy
Suite 101
Waverly, Iowa 50677

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express at Duck Creek

1417 KImberly Road
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Family Medicine and Walk-In Care - Cascade

610 2nd Ave. NE
Cascade, Iowa 52033

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Kenyon Road - Walk-In

800 Kenyon Road
Suite R
Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - East

1550 University Avenue
Dubuque, Iowa 52001

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - West

2255 JFK Road
Dubuque, Iowa 52002

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th St. SW
Altoona, Iowa 50009

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Anamosa

1795 Hwy 64 East
Anamosa, Iowa 52205

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Ankeny

3625 N. Ankeny Blvd.
Suite E
Ankeny, Iowa 50023

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Hiawatha

1001 N. Center Point Road
Suite A
Hiawatha, Iowa 52233

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Ave., Ste. 2
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Lakeview

6000 University Avenue
Suite 101
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Marion

2992 7th Ave.
Marion, Iowa 52302

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Suite 100
Des Moines, Iowa 50310

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 SE 14th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Sunnybrook

5885 Sunnybrook Drive
Sioux City, Iowa 51106

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Urbandale

5200 NW 100th Street
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

Urgent Care - Westside

2375 Edgewood Rd SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404

Closed Patients
Waiting Now

A Pediatrician's Advice for Cold & Flu Season

by -

teenage kids sitting in school desks with face masks during pandemic

Written by Amy Shriver, MD for UnityPoint Health

As a general pediatrician, I enjoy the unique privilege of talking with families whose schools use all sorts of “Return to Learn” models. Some students are thriving, while others are struggling…a lot. To keep our schools open and safe, we must be laser-focused on reducing the number of COVID-19 outbreaks in our communities.

COVID-19 can look like a lot of health conditions. It’s been a challenge for caregivers and doctors to know which symptoms might be COVID-19 and which aren’t. Kids can have congestion and sore throats from allergies, bacteria (strep throat) or other common viruses. Headaches and body aches can occur from overuse of computer screens, vigorous exercise, dehydration or even trampoline use. The fall and winter also often mean a return of several illnesses that include coughing as a symptom, such as RSV, bronchiolitis and influenza. The absence of fever does not help us predict if your child has COVID-19 or not.

Even if you think your child only has a cold, keep them home from school or daycare and isolate per the CDC guidelines, which say students may return to school after 10 days of isolation and 24 hours fever free (without Tylenol or ibuprofen). If symptoms last longer, you need to stay home longer. If you or your child get tested for COVID-19, stay home until test results are back, even if you feel fine.

What about household contacts? If your child is staying home with COVID-19 symptoms, so should you.

Most schools have a plan in place to help parents review a child’s symptoms, often breaking the symptoms into high-risk (new cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell) and low-risk (fever, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) categories. Make sure you’re aware of your school’s protocols. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) website offers another good resource for symptoms to watch.

Families should understand their school’s sick policy for several reasons:

  • First, by identifying possible symptoms of COVID-19, your family can begin the CDC’s recommended isolation protocol immediately.
  • Second, recognizing illness and keeping children home prevents exposure, increasing the likelihood that schools can continue in-person instruction.
  • Third, understanding the sick policy will help families determine when to get tested, which can help public health experts understand the virus and keep communities safe.

What about a COVID exposure at school? If you are quarantining yourself or a child due to exposure, remember, you can't "test out" of quarantine and must stay at home for the full 14 days. If you choose to get tested and test positive for COVID-19, you should begin a new 10 day isolation period.

My overall advice – any time you think your child is getting sick, keep them home from school. Get a flu shot. Be patient and give a lot of grace to your children, friends, neighbors and yourselves during this time. Send kind notes of appreciation to the teachers, administrators and staff who are working diligently to protect and educate your children. Wear masks in your community to help keep rates of COVID-19 low. And, as always, reach out to your health care provider if you have concerns about your child’s physical, mental or educational health.