Flu & Cold in Children: Symptoms, Causes & Relief
- Cold and flu symptoms in children are the same as adults – they just experience them differently. A cold is a mild infection, and can be overcome quite painlessly.
- Flu, on the other hand, is a more severe infection that might require medical assistance.
- They’re caused by different groups of viruses, and vary in severity and length. Here’s how you can help your child through colds and flu:
What to do:
What to avoid:
- Keep them warm.
- Get rest and sleep.
- Give medicine such as ibuprofen to help lower your temperature and to relieve any pains and/or aches
- Drink enough water
- If your child is showing symptoms of either a cold or the flu, don’t share household items like towels or mugs in the house, or anywhere else.
- If your child is exposed to someone exhibiting symptoms, encourage them to wash their hands often.
- Another thing to try to do is to encourage your child not to touch their eyes, mouth or nose.
When to seek medical help
Signs and symptoms of flu:
- Aching muscles.
- Dry cough.
- A sore throat.
- A runny nose.
- Feeling weak and tired.
- Loss of appetite.
Signs and symptoms of cold:
- A blocked or runny nose.
- A sore throat.
- Muscle aches.
- Coughs and sneezing.
- A raised temperature (in infants more so than adults).
Colds and Flu in Children
A cold is often called the flu, but they are different infections, caused by different viruses. Symptoms of a cold are generally milder than the flu. Colds usually affect mainly the nose and throat and the flu tends to make the whole body ache.
If you have cold and flu symptoms you should practice good hygiene and physical distancing to help slow the spread of germs. This includes washing your hands with soap warm water for at least 20 seconds, ensuring you wash between fingers and under nails. If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of fever, coughing, sore throat or shortness of breath you should seek medical advice from a doctor (including pathology testing) and stay at home (not go to school or work).
Signs and symptoms of colds and flu in children
The symptoms for colds and the flu can be similar, but you can keep an eye out for the following symptoms and monitor how they develop in your child. The symptoms of cold and flu include:
- Aching muscles
- Dry cough
- A sore throat
- A runny nose
- Feeling weak and tired
- Loss of appetite
- A blocked or runny nose
- A sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Coughs and sneezing
- A raised temperature (in infants more so than adults)
It’s normal for a child to have several colds a year. Children get more colds than adults as they do not yet have the same immunity to the more than 200 viruses that can cause a cold.
Causes of colds and flu
Colds and flu are seasonal viruses, and are caused by the spread of germs through coughs and sneezes.
How to relieve colds and flu
You can help your child manage some symptoms of a cold without seeing a doctor, but if their symptoms persist, don’t hesitate to contact a medical professional. If their symptoms seem to be more severe day by day, you should also contact a doctor.
To minimise the risk, you can get the flu vaccine from your GP before the start of the flu season to reduce your risk of contracting flu and/or spreading it.
Why ibuprofen can help
Ibuprofen helps to relieve pain and fever associated with colds and flu without causing drowsiness. There are also tablets, caplets and liquid capsules available.
Why Nurofen For Children can help your child
Nurofen for Children comes in different formulations for children of different ages (from 3 months of age).It helps to temporarily relieve pain and fever and can be taken either as a liquid suspension or a soft gel chew.
This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.
This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional.
- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/ | May 2020
- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/common-cold/ | May 2020
- https://www.nurofenforchildren.co.uk/blogs/news/helping-your-child-through-the-cold-and-flu-season | May 2020
- https://www.nurofenforchildren.co.uk/products/nurofen-for-children-chewable-capsules-soft | May 2020