Get the right care when you or your child are sick

What to do when you or your child are sick

It can be scary when you or your child are sick. Many illnesses can be treated at home, like a cold or fever, and don’t need a visit to the emergency room. At Dell Children’s Health Plan we have choices for you—from urgent care to after-hour clinics!

How do I find an urgent care or after-hours clinic near me?

You don’t need a referral or an appointment to go to an urgent care or after-hours clinic. Just make sure they take Dell Children’s Health Plan. You can find an urgent care or after-hours clinic near you. You can also call the 24-hour Nurse HelpLine at 1-855-712-6700 for advice or help finding care anytime, day or night, and on holidays.

Here’s what you should do when you or your child are sick:

  • Call the doctor. Even if the doctor’s office is closed, someone will call you back to tell you what to do. If you don’t have a doctor, call us today at 1-855-921-6284 and we can help you find one.
  • Call the 24-hour Nurse HelpLine at 1-855-712-6700. You can talk to a nurse for advice or help finding care anytime.
  • Go to an urgent care or after-hours clinic. Find an urgent care or after-hours clinic near you or call Member Services at 1-855-921-6284. Make sure they take Dell Children’s Health Plan. You do not need an appointment.
If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room. The emergency room is for medical emergencies only.

Home treatment tips

Tips for treating fever at home

Fevers can be scary, especially in children or if you or your child are pregnant. Often a fever doesn’t need to be treated in an emergency room. A fever is our body’s reaction to an illness.

A fever is when your temperature is 100.4F or higher. When you or child has a fever you can:

  • Have cold hands
  • Have body aches
  • Not want to eat
  • Feel tired


This is all normal with a fever. But if you or your child ever:

  • Have trouble breathing
  • Have a rash
  • Can’t wake up
  • Have a fever for more than 3 days
  • Stop drinking fluids


Then it is time to call your doctor or go to the emergency room.

If you don’t know what to do then you can call the Dell Children’s Health Plan’s Nurse HelpLine at 1-855-712-6700. After calling the doctor or Nurse HelpLine, follow their instructions and try to treat the fever at home. Do not take over-the-counter medications unless you are told to, especially for pregnant women and young children.

Here’s what to do, but remember to follow the instructions from the doctor or nurse.

For fever:

  • Give water or Pedialyte to replace fluids lost through sweating with fever. For an infant, breastmilk or formula is fine and all that is usually needed.
  • Check with your doctor to see if you can use ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help reduce the fever. The correct dose for these medicines depends on your child’s weight. Don’t use ibuprofen in children younger than 6 months old. Never give aspirin to a child under age 18. You can use this dosage chart for help, or call the doctor or the 24-hour Nurse HelpLine at 1-855-712-6700 for help.


For more information on fever and other health conditions and illnesses, visit our health library or check out kidshealth.org.

Tips for treating a cold or the flu at home

After calling the doctor or Nurse HelpLine, follow their instructions and try to treat the condition at home. Do not take over-the-counter medications unless you are told to, especially for pregnant women and young children.

Here’s what to do, but remember to follow the instructions from the doctor or nurse.

For a cold or the flu:

  • Try saline nasal sprays to ease nasal congestion. You can buy them without a prescription, and they’re safe for children.
  • There are a lot of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for cold and flu. You should talk to the doctor before using any OTC medicines.
  • Make sure to check with the doctor or pediatrician if you are using these for the first time, if you are pregnant or if you are thinking about giving them to your child.
  • Get lots of rest! It may be hard to stay home out of school or work but your body needs to rest when it is sick.
  • Try honey for children over 1 year old. Honey can settle a cough down and is helpful to give a child at night before bed. Do not give honey to a child under 1.
  • You can use a humidifier in your or your child’s room. A humidifier helps manage cough and cold symptoms by keeping the airway moist.
When to go to an urgent care clinic, after-hours facility or the emergency room

Cold and flu symptoms usually last 1 to 2 weeks. A cough can stick around for up to three weeks. Symptoms usually peak between 3 to 5 days after symptoms start. If you or your child are not feeling better after 2 weeks or symptoms worsen, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. If you don’t have a doctor, call us today at 1-855-921-6284 and we can help you find one.

Go to an urgent care or after-hours facility or the emergency room if you or your child have:

  • High fever (over 103°F) that does not go down with home treatment
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Severe cough or sore throat


Make sure to follow up with your doctor after going to an urgent care or after-hours clinic or the emergency room.

To help avoid trips to the emergency room for the flu, make sure to get a flu shot every year.

Members get a $25 reward for getting an annual flu shot. See your member handbook for more information.

For more information on cold and flu, and other health conditions and illnesses, visit our health library.

Asthma care and control

Control asthma with an asthma action plan

Asthma, especially in children, can be hard to manage at home. A trip to the emergency room can expose you or your child to more illnesses. Make sure that you work with your or your child’s doctor to know how to treat asthma at home. Your or your child’s doctor will have an asthma action plan for you to make sure you know what to do. You can find an asthma action plan here to help keep asthma under good control. Make sure to have a copy for home, school, sports and after-school activities.

What is an asthma action plan?

An asthma action plan tells you and those around you what to do to control your or your child’s asthma and what to do in an emergency. It is divided into three zones (green, yellow and red). You should work with your or your child’s doctor to determine your zones and update it regularly.

  • The green zone is where you want to be on a daily basis. In this zone, you have no asthma symptoms and you feel good. Continue to take your long-term control medicine(s) even if you’re feeling well.
  • The yellow zone means that you are experiencing symptoms. This is where you should slow down and follow the steps including the use of your quick-relief medicine to keep your asthma from getting worse.
  • The red zone means you are experiencing severe asthma symptoms or an asthma flare-up. The red zone of your asthma action plan tells you the steps you need to take in an emergency. Follow the steps in your asthma action plan and get immediate medical treatment if your symptoms do not improve.
To help prevent an asthma attack, know your asthma medicines and what they do.

The asthma action plan will include you or your child’s medicines and instructions for what to do when you are feeling well, what to do when you have asthma symptoms and what to do when your asthma symptoms are getting worse. It should include the names of the prescribed medicines, how much to take and when to take it. Always have these medicines with you and make sure you refill them often.

There are two types of medications used to manage asthma and treat flare-ups:

  • Long-term control medicines (also called controller or maintenance medicines) help prevent asthma symptoms by controlling the swelling in the lungs and decreasing mucus production. These medicines work slowly but help control asthma for hours. They must be taken regularly (even when you or your child don’t have asthma symptoms) in order to work.
  • Quick-relief medicines (sometimes called rescue medicines) relieve or stop asthma symptoms once they have started. They are inhaled and work quickly to relax the muscles that tighten around airways. When the muscles relax, airways open up and breathing is easier. Quick-relief medicines can be used before exercise to avoid asthma symptoms.


An asthma attack (exacerbation) is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

What is an asthma exacerbation?

An asthma exacerbation is a serious asthma attack, also called an acute or severe asthma attack. Asthma exacerbations can lead to reduced lung function and can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of an asthma exacerbation are:

  • Fast breathing where the skin sucks in around the chest and/or ribs when inhaling
  • Lips, fingertips, and/or skin around the eyes turn blue, gray, or white in color
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Severe wheezing or whistling sounds when breathing
  • An expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
Don’t forget!
  • Whenever you leave the house, always take your asthma medicine and quick-relief inhaler with you.
  • It is important to refill all asthma medications before they run out. If you need help getting refills, call your or your child’s prescribing provider, or call Dell Children’s Health Plan Member Services at 1-855-921-6284.
  • Set refill reminders or automatic refills with your pharmacy, if available.
  • Have an asthma action plan and keep it updated. Have a copy for home, school, sports and after-school activities.
Asthma is often made worse by viruses, like cold and flu.

To help avoid trips to the emergency room for asthma flare-ups, make sure to get a flu shot every year. Members get a $25 reward for getting an annual flu shot, as well as service coordination and other value-added services to help members with asthma. See your member handbook for more information.

To learn more about asthma and asthma management, check out our asthma booklet, that also has an asthma action plan in it, and go to community.aafa.org to learn more about asthma in children. You can also go to sesamestreetincommunities.org for more information, action plans, videos and interactive activities.

After hours locations

You can also view a list of urgent care and after hours locations here.

Urgent care centers

You can also view a list of urgent care and after hours locations here.