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Does my Child Have The Flu or a Cold?

Colds and influenza share many of the same symptoms, so how do you figure out exactly what is ailing your child?

Usually with the flu, your child will be much sicker than they would be with just the average cold. Learn to recognize cold and flu symptoms in children, and treatments for each.

Is It a Cold?

A cold is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. This includes the throat, nose and sinuses. Colds can be caught from many sources.

Most of the time a cold will start with a sore throat and some nasal stuffiness as well as frequent sneezing. Symptoms such as fever and coughing will be mild. Cold remedies for kids will usually work just fine.

Symptoms of a cold include:

  • Sneezing
  • Mild fever
  • Runny/Stuffy nose
  • Mild cough
  • Sore throat

Colds usually last for 3 – 10 days. They can be particularly upsetting for babies or toddlers, who find it difficult to breathe and will fuss more than usual because they don’t know how to alleviate the stuffiness.

Is It The Flu?

Influenza is also a viral infection, caused by only a few specific viruses. It also affects the nose, sinuses and throat. It can be much more severe than a common cold.

The flu usually starts much more aggressively than the common cold. A high fever and chills are seen in the beginning. There is much more achiness and just plain ol’ feeling sick with the flu than with the common cold.

Symptoms of flu include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Body aches and pains
  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough, which is usually dry and hacking

The flu lasts longer than a week, usually two, and can take up to a month before one is feeling back to normal.

In young children, look for extreme fussiness, sickness, tiredness, and not eating. An older child may complain about feeling very achy and uncomfortable. They will tell you their throat hurts and that they don’t want to eat.

If you have questions about your child’s health, be sure to contact your Phoenix pediatrics office without delay. Never take the chance when it comes to your children. If they are having a bad time due to stuffiness or breathing, make sure you take care of it right away.

Posted in Blog on October 20th, 2015