mother tending to daughter with fluThe flu has been a popular news topic over the past few weeks, as peak flu season has arrived in North Carolina. Knowing flu symptoms can help you help your little one feel comfortable and make a full recovery.

Your child may have contracted the flu if she has any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Chills and aches
  • Fatigue, general weakness
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Sneezing or congestion
  • Chest discomfort or a cough

Flu and cold symptoms often mimic each other. A big difference is that flu symptoms come on quickly, whereas cold symptoms develop gradually overtime. Additionally, having a fever is rare with a cold but common with the flu virus.

If you suspect your child has the flu, remember that it is not a bacterial infection – antibiotics cannot be used to treat it. Allowing your child to rest and providing items to treat symptoms is the best course of action.

  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce aches and fever.
  • OTC medicines for congestion and cough can help.
  • Keep your child home from school or activities to ensure a recovery and avoid contamination.

With plenty of rest and proper care, your child will likely feel better within five to 10 days. Pneumonia, a lung infection, is a common flu complication, so it is important to be on the lookout for any changes in your child that may indicate pneumonia has set in. They include:

  • Severe, persistent cough that produces phlegm
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent fever higher than 102° F
  • Chest pains

In addition to the flu vaccine, the best defense against contracting the flu is washing hands! Make sure your child thoroughly washes her hands with soap and water, especially after coming in contact with common surfaces.

Piedmont HealthCare – Mooresville Pediatrics is happy to address concerns you may have. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office at 704-696-2085.