IS IT A COLD OR THE FLU?
Your child is sent home from school with a sore throat, cough, and high fever – could it be the flu that’s been going around? Or is it just a common cold? Typically, the FLU (also known as influenza) has symptoms that make a child feel worse than symptoms associated with a common cold, but it is not always that easy to tell the difference between the two.
To help determine whether your child’s fighting the flu or combating a cold, review these questions:
FLU vs. COLDS: A GUIDE TO SYMPTOMS
QUESTIONS FLU COLD
Was your child’s onset sudden? slow?
Does your child have a … high fever? no (or mild fever)?
Is your child’s exhaustion level …severe? mild?
Is your child’s head … achy? headache-free?
Is your child’s appetite … decreased? normal?
Are your child’s muscles … achy? fine?
Does your child have… chills? no chills?
If most of your answers fall into the first category, chances are that your child has the flu. If your answers fall into the second category, it is most likely a cold. Some bacterial diseases, like strep throat or pneumonia, can also look like the flu or a cold. It is important to get medical attention immediately if your child seems to be getting worse, is having any trouble breathing, has a high fever, has a bad headache, or a sore throat, or seems confused. Some kids with chronic medical conditions may become sicker with the flu and need to be hospitalized, and the flu for an infant can be dangerous. Don’t forget to offer your child plenty of fluids, rest and extra comfort.