- Fever over 100.4 F (38 C)
- Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
- Chills and sweats
- Dry, persistent cough
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
The flu is an illness caused by a respiratory virus. It is a serious virus that can spread quickly from person to person through sneezing, coughing, and touching surfaces that have secretions. The flu season typically starts in the fall and ends in the spring. Symptoms of the flu usually include a sudden fever, chills, body aches, headaches, sore throat, cough, and/or runny nose. Some children can also have vomiting or diarrhea with the flu. Symptoms of the flu can last a week, sometimes even longer. If your child has the flu it is best for them to rest and drink lots of fluids. If your child has a high fever you can treat it with Tylenol or Motrin based on their age. Motrin should only be given to children over 6 months of age. It is important not to give children Aspirin if they have the flu as this can increase their risk of developing Reye Syndrome.
If you feel like your child’s symptoms are going on too long, your child starts to have ear pain, difficulty breathing, worsening cough, underlying medical conditions or has worsening sinus pressure it is time to contact your child’s doctor.
You can also contact your doctor for testing and to check if Tamiflu could help your child. Tamiflu is a prescription medication that can help decrease the length and severity of the flu, but typically needs to be started within the first 48 hours of the illness to have the best outcomes. The best way to prevent or decrease the severity of the flu is through the annual flu vaccine that is recommended for children 6 months and older.