Children’s Flu and How to Distinguish and Treat Their Symptoms

By Jay Shelvin posted 05-12-2020 02:53 PM


Comprehending the variations of a common cold from a flu strain or COVID-19 have become vital. But if you can identify flu symptoms in your child, you will be in a strong position to make valuable decisions to protect their health. 

First, determine whether your child has flu, before taking steps to treat them. Symptoms and severity may vary, as do treatment actions. Adult and child flu are also highly similar, so if you have ever had the flu, it will be easier to recognize in your child. 

Recognition of flu symptoms in children

Noticing symptoms early will help to keep your child as comfortable as possible. Use a symptom screening tool to help identify flu symptoms. Using a symptom checker will clarify your concerns, and give insight into the best treatment route to take. 

Flu is more likely to occur in cold winter months when children are more susceptible to contracting flu. Symptoms begin to appear within two days, unlike COVID-19 symptoms, which can take from 1 day to 2 weeks to present. Children younger than five years, and specifically those between 1 and 2 years are the most vulnerable.

Flu symptoms develop rapidly, and a fever typically provides the first indication of infection. Dizziness may be present, or the young child may start refusing food. They can become easily exhausted, experience muscle weakness, and develop lung or nasal congestion. 

Shivering and headaches and painful throats are also common. Nausea, diarrhea, earache, or a runny nose form part of other common symptoms to watch out for. Infants and toddlers may fuss and cry more.

Detecting the variances between a cold and flu

Colds develop gradually as opposed to flu, which has a rapid onset. Because symptom similarities, it may be problematic to determine what may be a common cold or a more serious illness such as the flu. 

Symptoms for flue are more intense than a cold. A cold is also not typically accompanied by more severe symptoms like chills, nausea, muscle aches or feelings of disorientation. 

When should you make a doctor’s appointment?

Contact a pediatrician quickly if your infant is showing cold symptoms, particularly if severe symptoms persist. Should you observe deteriorating indicators, be sure to make a doctor’s appointment. 

Your doctor may request a test be done for current flu viruses to eliminate these as a possibility. If medication is provided, and symptoms don’t improve within a day or 2, take your child back to the doctor. 

Deteriorating symptoms encompass indications of thirst, refusing to drink liquids, and a bluish tint in the skin or about the mouth, nails, and extremities. Further serious symptoms include excess tiredness, difficulty walking, breathing, painful headaches and a recurrence of fever. 

A stiff neck, not wanting to be touched and irritability are other signs that indicate a need for emergency medical assistance. 

You can treat the flu at home

A child who is ill with flu will conceivably feel ill for up to a fortnight. Home treatments are possible if symptoms remain fairly mild. Treating at home involves making sure that the child remains comfortable. 

Your child may need to stay home for a fortnight with the flu. Even after original symptoms have decreased, they can still feel under the weather. Treat for chills or hot flushes with warm blankets and baths or cool baths to reduce fevers. 

Ensure your child stays hydrated at all times. Speak to the local pharmacist regarding over-the-counter (OTC) medications that will help relieve flu symptoms, and read packaging when treating with OTC treatments, and never treat with Aspirin.