Snot color as a diagnostic tool

Pediatrician Sonya Sethi Gohill, MD Pediatrician, shares advice for parents on how the color of your child's snot is not an accurate diagnostic tool for telling if they are sick and should stay home from school
The Myth Of Using Snot Color As A Diagnostic Tool For Kids
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Snot color as a diagnostic tool

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There is a lot of confusion about the meaning of different colored boogers. I can't tell you how often patients come into my office because they've been sent home from school because they have green or yellow boogers. People have all sorts of ideas about the importance of the color. Some people think that if a child has green or yellow boogers, it means that their child is sicker than another child with clear boogers. This is not true. Some people think that if their child has green or yellow boogers, it means they are more contagious than someone with clear boogers. Also not true. Sometimes people think that if their child has green or yellow boogers, they have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics. This also is not true. If your child has a cold, they will likely have symptoms that last two weeks. During this time, your child will have all different colored boogers. They will have clear congestion at the beginning. It may turn to yellow or green halfway through. It may go back to clear again toward the end of it. They may have any color of booger, and this is completely normal. The good news is that colds are caused by viruses and may often times go away with no treatment at all. We worry about a bacterial illness, if you child has persistent fever. If your child has fever that is there, disappears and comes back again. If your child has congestion that has lasted for longer than two weeks. If your child has sinus pain or if your child looks sick. These would be reasons to take your child to his or her doctor.

Pediatrician Sonya Sethi Gohill, MD Pediatrician, shares advice for parents on how the color of your child's snot is not an accurate diagnostic tool for telling if they are sick and should stay home from school

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Sonya Sethi Gohill, MD

Pediatrician

Dr. Sonya Sethi Gohill is a board certified pediatrician. She obtained her undergraduate degree at Stanford University, where she graduated with honors.  Dr. Gohill then went to UCLA for medical school and her pediatric residency. She works at her own private practice, Brentwood Pediatrics, in Los Angeles. Dr. Gohill is also a certified lactation educator. Dr. Gohill lives in Santa Monica with her husband and their three kids. Her sons, Dilan and Jaiden, are seven and four, and her daughter Tara is eight months old.

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