Children's Hospital Colorado

The Difference Between COVID-19, Cold, Flu and Other Illnesses You May Hear About This Season

Mother taking temperature of her son

Cough, cough. Sniff, sniff. “I don’t feel good,” your kid says. Uh-oh, you think. Could it be COVID-19? It’s a normal reaction. Although wearing a face covering, social distancing and frequently washing your hands are the best ways to help keep your family safe and limit the spread of the coronavirus, there’s still a possibility that you or your child may become infected.

Children’s Hospital Colorado infectious disease specialist Samuel Dominguez, MD, PhD says it’s important to keep in mind that flu symptoms and common cold symptoms can be similar to COVID-19. If your child is feeling sick or having difficulty breathing, it’s best to call your primary care provider.

The most accurate way to tell the difference between COVID-19 and other viruses is by getting a test. Depending on your child’s symptoms, your primary care provider may recommend that as the next step.

Keeping you safe during the pandemic

If your child needs medical care like surgery, urgent or emergency care, mental healthcare, vaccinations or a checkup for a chronic condition, it's critical that they get the care they need from pediatric experts.

At Children’s Colorado, we’re here to deliver high-quality care for kids who need it in the safest environment possible. From requiring face coverings to implementing visitation and screening policies, learn about all the ways we’re keeping your family safe when you come for a visit.