What to Do When Your Child Has Flu


Ann Gabriel | Vigorbuddy

When your child wakes up sneezing, coughing, and having that achy, feverish feeling, chances are, your child has flu.

Knowing the difference between flu and colds is very important. To distinguish the two, colds are milder respiratory illnesses than flu. Colds can make your child feel bad for a few days. Flu is obviously different as it can make your child feel ill from days to weeks.

Colds begin with sore throat. When treated properly, colds go away after a couple of days. Runny nose and congestion might follow, along with cough by the fourth and fifth days. Children are more prone to this compared to adults.

If left untreated for five days, mucus becomes thicker and darker.

During the first three days that your child has cold symptoms, he / she is contagious. This means that others in your household or within close proximity from him or her can get the cold too. It is advised to keep your child at home to get much-needed rest.

When there are no signs of improvement after a week, there is a possibility that the child has a bacterial infection. It is recommended that you bring him or her to a doctor immediately.

Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms and come on quickly. You’ll know that your child has the flu when he / she has sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough.

Here are some symptoms of the flu

Persistent fever: lasts more than three days
Painful swallowing: Sore throat
Persistent coughing: Cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks.
Persistent congestion and headaches:

Flu should be handled immediately to avoid complication. A common complication of the flu is pneumonia. Pneumonia is most prominent with the young, elderly, or people with lung or heart problems. When there is shortness of breath, bring your child to the doctor immediately.

Similar to colds, flu viruses enter the body through the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, or mouth. Every time you touch your hand to one of these areas, you increase the chances of infecting yourself with a virus. Frequent hand washing prevents both flu and cold symptoms.

Flu, oftentimes are accompanied by not less than 38 degree fever. Body and muscle aches often manifest themselves when you have flu.

The way to treat flu is by taking decongestants and paracetamol. When tempted to self medicate with antibiotics, stop. It is always best to see the doctor immediately.