Influenza, or the flu, makes the rounds every year. It is highly contagious and can last a week or longer. Many parents choose to immunize their children against the flu, but because the disease mutates, it isn’t always possible to avoid it. Flu symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds, but are much more severe.
Expect a fever of more than 101 degrees F. The fever may even go as high as 104 degrees F. You can use children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the fever, but be sure to give the correct dosage, based on your child’s weight.
Most probably, your child will have a headache if she has the flu. It will be accompanied by general achiness all over her body.
Sore throats are common with the flu, but they could be related to bacterial infections, like strep throat. If this seems to be the primary symptom, ask your doctor to diagnose her illness before assuming that it’s the flu.
The cough will most likely be dry and unproductive. It may turn into a hacking cough, causing breathing problems that require medical attention.
Along with the muscle aches, your child may just appear weak and lifeless. He may not feel like playing or doing anything other than sleeping. A baby who has the flu may not respond when you are talking to her or holding her. She may just look at you with a blank stare.
Your child may vomit or have diarrhea, or he may just feel a bit sick to his stomach. If this is the case, it’s important that he gets additional fluids, as you don’t want him to become dehydrated.