How do I know if my child has the flu?

Pediatricians diagnose the flu in infants and children frequently during the flu season. A physician will examine your child, looking for these common symptoms of the flu:

  • A high fever

  • Chills

  • Hacking cough

  • Scratchy throat

  • Sneezing and congestion

  • Listlessness

  • Headache or body aches

  • Vomiting and belly pain

If your child has other health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, it’s important to call your pediatrician as soon as your child starts to show flu symptoms. The flu can cause serious health complications, especially in children whose health is otherwise compromised.

What should I do to make my child more comfortable?

Your child should get plenty of bed rest when suffering from the flu. Hydration is important — keep kid-friendly fluids handy and make sure your child drinks frequently. Use a wet washcloth with lukewarm water to sponge your child’s face and body, but don’t use cold water or ice.

Unlike adults, kids may vomit when they have the flu, so watch for dehydration. If your baby has dry diapers or an older child isn’t drinking well and seems listless, set up an appointment with our pediatrician to have your child evaluated. In case of emergency call 911 right away.

What medications should I give my child for fever and aches?

Follow your pediatrician’s advice for using children’s versions of ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help fever and aches.

Even though the flu has many symptoms, do not give over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to children age six or younger. Always talk to your child’s pediatrician about which medications are appropriate for your child. Our pediatricians will advise you about which medicines to use.

How can I help my child avoid the flu?

Teach children not to rub their eyes, nose, or mouth with their hands. Show them how to sneeze or cough into their elbow, and stress the importance of washing their hands with warm water and soap. The flu vaccine is also recommended for all children.

If my child gets the flu, is there a prescription medication that helps?

Because the flu is a virus, and antibiotics only work to treat bacteria, antibiotics do not work to treat the flu. However, in severe cases, antiviral medications can help if administered during the first two days of illness.

If you’re concerned about your child’s condition, please setup your appointment now to have your child evaluated.


Caring Pediatrics
7517 South McClintock Drive, Suite 103
Tempe, AZ 85283
Phone: 602-610-7337
Fax: 602-536-4102

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