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Navigating Sick Season

Prevent, Prepare, Treat

Sick season typically occurs in the fall and winter in our community. During this time, we can experience longer-than-normal wait times and limited appointment availability. We know these issues can be frustrating, and we assure you we are constantly working to address them. Our teams are dedicated to ensuring every child receives the best care possible. We appreciate your patience and thank you for trusting us to be your partners in your child's health.

Symptoms & Severity

Unsure about which symptoms can be managed at home and which require medical attention? Use our symptom checker as a starting point, or call your pediatrician.

At-Home Treatments

It's typical for a child to come down with respiratory and/or stomach bugs six to eight times each year! Thankfully, many can be safely managed at home.

If You Need to Visit

Your pediatrician should always be your first stop. If it's after office hours and you can't wait, know where to go — one of our Emergency Department or Urgent Care locations, or find CHOP doctors at local community hospitals. And be sure to check our latest visitor guidelines.

Preparation & Prevention

Prepare for common bugs and viruses by stocking up on the items on this checklist, and limit exposure to germs by practicing trusted infection prevention methods. And as always, stay up to date on all your immunizations (flu, COVID boosters and more)!

Resources for Parents & Caregivers

We understand how hard it can be to watch your child suffer from any illness, but thankfully many can be safely managed at home and will clear up without medical treatment. Here are some things you can do now to prepare your household and brush up on practical prevention tips:

These additional resources can help you feel empowered to handle most common illnesses at home if and when they occur.

Wondering if a trip to the doctor is necessary? These resources can help you determine when to make the call and what might require an emergency visit.

Trusted Prevention

Keep sick children at a distance - 6 feet
Stay up-to-date on vaccines
Cough or sneeze into your elbow
Wash your hands often
Stay home when you feel sick
Don't share food or drinks


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