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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Managing your child’s cold symptoms

Published in Pediatrics, For the Health of It Author: Jill Amsberry, D.O.

Nothing is more difficult than seeing your little one sick. The following is a list of ways that you can help them feel better until the illness is gone:

Stuffy nose

  • Try saltwater (saline) nose drops or spray followed by bulb suction or nasal aspirator.
  • Put a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer in your child’s room. Don’t forget to clean the machine every day.


  • Fever is a natural reaction to illness. Therefore, it is not necessary to give medicine when your child has a fever.
  • If you feel your child needs medicine to help his or her symptoms, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used depending on age. Be sure to ask your doctor for the correct dose. A child less than six months should not use ibuprofen.
  • Ibuprofen and Tylenol should not be given at the same time or alternated back and forth. This can lead to errors in dosing which could be harmful to your child.
  • Do not give your child aspirin, which has been linked to a rare but serious illness in children.

Flu vaccine

  • Flu vaccine can keep you and your children from getting sick from the flu. If your child does get sick, the illness may be more mild because he/she received the vaccine.
  • Children six months or older should be vaccinated for the flu every year.
  • For infants younger than six months, be sure the people around them are vaccinated.

Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines

  • Try a spoonful of honey for cough. Do not give honey to children less than one year of age.
  • Cough and cold medicines have not been shown to be helpful in children for symptoms of the common cold. In fact, they often have more side effects than benefit.
  • Do not give any cough and cold medicine to a child younger than 4.
  • Beware of double dosing — many cold medicines already have acetaminophen.


  • Antibiotics are not helpful for the common cold. However, antibiotics may be prescribed if your provider feels your child has a bacterial infection in addition to their cold.

Call your health care provider if your child is not getting better with treatment or log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.