The flu (influenza) is a viral infection that usually starts out like a cold, but can cause a more serious illness. Most kids who get the flu get over the infection without any problems. Flu season starts in the late fall and goes through early spring.
Signs and Symptoms
- muscle aches
- loss of appetite
- sore throat
- runny nose
- nausea and vomiting
What to Do
If Your Child Has Flu Symptoms:
- Call your doctor.
- Let your child rest as much as needed.
- Keep your child hydrated with plenty of liquids — breast milk or formula for babies; water, juice, ice pops, and cool drinks for older kids (but no caffeinated drinks).
- Relieve symptoms with:
Never give aspirin to a child with the flu. Don't give cough or cold medicine to children under 6 years old (call the doctor first for older kids).
Get Medical Care if Your Child Has:
- symptoms that get worse
- a severe cough
- trouble breathing
- a fever and is 3 months of age or younger
- a stiff neck
- a headache that doesn't go away after acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Make sure your kids get the flu vaccine each year.
- Try to avoid large crowds during flu season.
- Wash hands well and often.
Get the basics on how flu spreads and how to protect yourself.Read More
The flu can make you sick for a week or more. Find out how to get protected from the influenza virus.Read More
Learn all about protecting your family from the flu and what to do if your child gets flu-like symptoms.Read More
How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Kids Need?
Find out what the experts have to say.Read More
How Many Doses of Flu Vaccine Does My Child Need?
Knowing the doctor-recommended flu vaccination schedule can be confusing. Use this tool to help you understand how many doses your child needs.Read More
Who Needs a Flu Shot?
Just about everybody needs a flu shot. Find out more in this article for kids.Read More
Your Child's Immunizations: Influenza Vaccine (Flu Shot)
Find out when and why kids need to get the flu vaccine.Read More
Which vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.Read More
Tips for Treating the Flu
Here are some quick tips for helping your child get over the flu.Read More
Too Late for the Flu Vaccine?
The flu vaccine is usually offered between September and mid-November. Even though it's best to get it then, being vaccinated later can still help protect against the flu.Read More
Most vomiting is caused by gastroenteritis, and usually isn't serious. These home-care tips can help prevent dehydration.Read More
The Flu Vaccine
Doctors recommend that all teens get vaccinated against the flu. The good news is, it doesn't have to be a shot. Here are the facts on flu vaccines.Read More
Fevers happen when the body's internal "thermostat" raises the body temperature above normal. This is often the body's way of fighting infections.Read More