Does your Child have Influenza?

In the U.S., flu is generally not a risk for children until after their first birthday. However, every so often there’s an “off-season” and flu strikes kids as well as adults. If your child gets sick with flu-like symptoms during influenza season, it’s likely to be another virus. Flu is uncommon in young children; they are too naïve to have developed an immunity to it at this point in their lives. However, if your child has flu-like symptoms that appear outside of influenza season, or if you are concerned about it, speak to your paediatrician about getting tested for influenza.

Symptoms of Influenza in Children

The most common signs of flu in young children are high fever (101°F or higher). Your child’s temperature may be higher than the typical fever caused by the common cold, which rarely exceeds 100.4°F. Runny nose and congestion. Your child may have a drippy, congested nose as you’d expect from a head cold, but the flu also can cause stuffiness in the chest that can make it difficult for your child to breathe comfortably. Sore throat. If your child has a sore throat along with the above symptoms, it’s more likely to be caused by the flu than a sore throat from a typical cold. Muscle aches, the flu can cause aches throughout the body.

How to Know If Your Child Has the Flu

If your child is experiencing flu-like symptoms, you might wonder if you should seek medical care. How do you know what to do when your child has symptoms that can be associated with both the common cold and flu? Here are some guidelines to help you decide whether your child needs medical attention: Call your paediatrician. If your child is under 2 years of age, if she has a chronic medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, or cystic fibrosis, or if she was born prematurely (before 29 weeks of pregnancy), call your paediatrician right away. Observe your child’s symptoms. If your child’s symptoms are relatively mild and/or if she is rapidly improving (for example, she has a fever of 101°F and is down to 100°F within 12 hours), you may decide to forgo a doctor’s visit. Keep in mind that your child does not have to have all of the symptoms listed above to have flu. Most children diagnosed with flu have only a few of these symptoms, and some have just one.

What You Can Do For Your Child with the Flu

Get plenty of rest. This is particularly important if your child has a fever that makes him feel tired or sleepy. Help your child rest as much as he can during the day. Drink plenty of fluids. Flu-like symptoms can make your child feel thirsty, but drinking too much can lead to dehydration. If your child has a fever, he should drink water or juice that has no vitamin C. Take Tylenol or another over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce fever or body aches if they’re bothering your child.

How to Prevent the Flu in Children

There are a few different ways to protect your child from getting the flu. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine every year. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, including both healthy and high-risk children. Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers and before preparing food. Stay home from work or school when your child has a fever and other flu-like symptoms. Keep children away from people who are sick. If your child is exposed to someone who has the flu, keep him away from other people until the incubation period has passed, usually 2-3 days.

Other Ways to Protect Your Child from Getting the Flu

Keep your child away from other children if they “have the flu.” Avoid people who are sick. If you are sick and can’t avoid being around other people, cover your cough and wash your hands often. Try to stay healthy yourself. The best way to protect your child from the flu is to prevent yourself from getting it in the first place. If you stay healthy, you’re less likely to pass the flu on to your child. If you get sick, stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Using alcohol-based hand sanitisers as an alternative to soap and water when washing hands isn’t an option.


Flu is a virus that infects the nose, mouth, and lungs. It is very contagious and can be dangerous to both adults and children. In children, the symptoms are usually similar to a cold but can also include fever, cough, runny nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue. Anyone can get the flu, and it can be a serious illness. Anyone who has not been vaccinated for the flu should take precautions to avoid becoming ill. There are many ways to protect your family from the flu, including staying away from people who are sick, washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, and getting a flu vaccine.