Cold and Flu Season: Does Your Child Have the Flu or the Cold?

It’s not often easy to tell a common cold from the flu in children. Here are a few tips to help you find out what you’re dealing with.


Both the flu and the cold are respiratory illnesses caused by viruses. They are contagious. However, they aren’t the same. Colds may often last for about seven to ten days while a flu may last for less than two weeks. Also, symptoms for the flu typically come on suddenly while symptoms for a cold show gradually. If your kid doesn’t have chills and aches, keeps sneezing, has a sore throat and a stuffy nose, then you’re dealing with the cold.

What Happens

If your child has a cold, he’s going to start off feeling unwell. It won’t be long, though, before he starts to suffer from a sore throat or runny nose. Coughs are also a common sign of the common cold in children. If the cold gets worse, then your child will likely find himself dealing with a fever, constant sneezing, watery mucus in the nose along, with the sore throat and cough.


If you’re looking for treatment, though, please be aware that you cannot give your kids over-the-counter medicines for cough and cold. There is no cure for the cold. What you can do is make sure your child is warm and that he gets enough rest. Coughing is his body’s way of getting rid of the virus so let the sickness run its course.

When to Go to a Doctor

However, if the illness doesn’t go away even after a few days, then there may already be an underlying condition. Also, if your child’s fever has spiked and he has starting vomiting or having chills and shakes, that could be symptoms of something else. It may be time to call a doctor.

How to Choose a Doctor

When you look for a doctor, find someone with the right credentials and qualifications. Consider the way the doctor treats his/her patients as well. Is the doctor accommodating? Does s/he answer all your questions? Does s/he take the time to reassure you or explain to you what treatment options are right for your child and why? You’ll want to keep these in mind.

Get your child the medical help he needs to ensure a faster recovery. Contact Pediatrix if you need treatment for the common cold in children.

2019-01-17T17:15:11+00:00 January 1st, 2019|Health, Wellness|