Each year, we at 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers recommend that our patients are brought in for flu shots. That’s the best means in pediatrics to prevent flu in children. If your children haven’t already received their shots, please call the office soon to schedule an appointment.
However, what if despite the best-laid plans your child comes down with something that looks like a cold and may be the flu? How can you tell the difference?
Symptoms of Flu
The best way to think of flu symptoms? Like those of a cold but usually worse.
Symptoms of flu:
- High-grade fever – up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Extreme tiredness
- Headache and body aches
- Sore throat
- Vomiting and/or belly pain
What to Do and When to Call
If you see three or more of these symptoms, you should suspect your child has flu and call our care providers.
Don’t hesitate to call! We can give your child anti-virus medicine like Tamiflu to limit the extent of the flu. However, the medicine must be given within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Note that because flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics do not work; only anti-viral medications do.
Now, with cold and flu season upon us, here are more warning signs that should trigger a call to the doctor – if your child:
- Is three months old or younger and has a fever
- Has trouble breathing or fast breathing
- Appears very weak or very fussy
- Won’t drink fluids and urinates hardly at all
Children who suffer from chronic diseases like asthma, heart conditions or diabetes are at higher risk of complications from the flu. We’ll be more than happy to discuss what to do for onset of colds or flu during routine exams and at times when you have special concerns.
Remember: Flu is contagious and is easily passed on in environments like schools or day care where children are in close quarters. Teachers are usually on high alert to detect children who may be becoming ill and will advise you if they suspect a problem.
Despite all of these warnings, let us assure you that it is likely symptoms will be mild or moderate if your child contracts the flu. Regardless, we stand ready to talk with you by phone or see your child if there is any doubt and provide the appropriate treatment.