IS IT THE COLD OR THE FLU?
Your child is sent home from school with a sore throat, cough, and possibly a high fever. Could it be the flu that’s been going around? Or could it be a common cold?
Although the flu usually causes symptoms that make someone feel worse than symptoms associated with a common cold, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the two.
Questions: Flu? Cold?
Was the onset of the illness……Sudden? Slow?
Does your child have a……High fever? No (or mild) fever?
Is your child’s exhaustion level…..Severe? Mild?
Is your child’s head…..Achy? Headache-free?
Is your child’s appetite…..Decreased? Normal?
Are your child’s muscles…..Achy? Fine?
Does your child have…..Chills? No chills?
If most of your answers fell into the first category, chances are that your child has the flu. If your answers were usually in the second category, it’s most likely a cold.
But don’t be too quick to brush off your child’s illness as just another cold. The important thing to remember is that flu symptoms can vary from child to child (and they can change as the illness progresses), so if you suspect the flu, call your doctor. Even doctors often need a test to tell them for sure if a person has the flu or not since symptoms can be so similar.
Some bacterial diseases, like strep throat or pneumonia, also can look like the flu or a cold. It is important to get medical attention immediately if your child seems to be getting worse, is having any trouble breathing, and has a high fever, bad headache, sore throat, or seems confused.
While even healthy kids can have complications from the flu, kids with certain medical conditions are an increased risk. If you think your child might have the flu, contact your doctor. Please do not send your child to school!
Click HERE for an easy to read symptom sheet.