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More kids head to urgent care as respiratory viruses are on the rise

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Posted at 9:53 AM, May 20, 2022

As the school year winds down, appointments for children are up at Cottage Urgent Care in Orcutt.

Liz Marble, a nurse practitioner at Cottage Urgent Care in Orcutt, says this isn't typical for this time of year.

“All of the kids had been protected from viruses that had been going around and once they took their masks off. They were a little more susceptible to things that they hadn't seen for the last two years, so we've seen quite a few respiratory viruses,” she said.

Marble says many children have symptoms including running noses, congestion, lingering coughs, low grade fevers, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“I am probably seeing on average about six children more a day than I typically would," Marble said.

She says parents should keep their children home from school any time they are having respiratory symptoms.

“Especially in younger children is watching for their work of breathing. If they’re having to use a lot of muscles around their ribs or under their sternum or near their collarbone are all signs that a kid is really struggling to breathe," Marble said.

She adds that it can be difficult to tell whether a child has allergies or a respiratory virus. It is not uncommon for schools to send children home if they show symptoms.

“So oftentimes we do a COVID test and then if the child has allergies, we treat that. We can provide a note saying the child has allergies. They don’t need to be rechecked for COVID every time they start sneezing or having a runny nose," Marble said.