Children who are suffering from influenza or the “flu” have symptoms that come on suddenly. In addition, while children with influenza can and do suffer from stomach problems and diarrhea, they are far more likely to present with other symptoms, according to WebMD. These symptoms can range from mild to serious. Children with extreme symptoms, such as a high fever or symptoms that last for more than three days, should be seen by a doctor.
Children with influenza often develop a high fever quickly. The fever is usually higher than one that presents with a cold, and lasts longer. Fevers can be as high as 104 degrees F and may last for up to three days. Medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can help control a fever, as can lukewarm baths and washing down the child with a cool wash cloth. Never give a child younger than age 12 aspirin to treat a fever. A doctor should be contacted if these control measures do not lower your child’s body temperature.
Children with influenza often complain of body and muscle aches. They may also alternate between feeling chilled and feeling hot. Headaches and dizziness are also common symptoms of the flu, as is a general feeling of malaise.
Fatigue and Low Appetite
Unusual sleeping habits are another symptom of the flu. Children who have influenza may sleep around the clock. This is normal and is the body’s way of conserving energy to fight the virus. Most children who have the flu do not have much, if any, appetite. This is also normal, but be sure to keep your child well-hydrated. Many children also suffer from vomiting and diarrhea when they have the flu, which can quickly cause dehydration.
Cough and Sore Throat
A dry, persistent cough is often seen in children suffering from influenza. This can cause your child’s throat to become sore. The development of a sore throat can also be a symptom of the flu even if your child does not have a cough. Other symptoms of influenza include a runny nose, earaches and stomachaches.
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