Call 911 if your child:
- Has flu symptoms and a fever that go away and return
- Is not more comfortable or alert once the fever goes down
- Doesn't wet diapers or hasn't urinated within 8 hours
- Cries without tears
- Is less than 1 month old
- Has a rash
- Has a seizure
Most kids get the flu -- a respiratory infection caused by a virus -- at some point. Usually they recover just fine. But in some cases, the flu can lead to more serious illnesses.
Call Doctor If:
- Your child is younger than 2
- Isn't feeding well and is often cranky and tired
- Is vomiting and has diarrhea
- Has a fever that lasts 3 to 4 days
- Has a cough that doesn't go away
- Has problems breathing
- Has a stiff neck
1. Give Fluids and Rest
- Give a baby plenty of breast milk or formula. Try to feed more frequently.
- Serve an older child plenty of fluids such as water and juice, oral electrolyte solution, or ice pops. Don't give any liquids that have caffeine.
- Let the child rest.
- Pay attention to how often the child urinates to watch for dehydration.
2. Treat Congestion and Symptoms
- Use a humidifier in the child's bedroom to keep it moist and ease a stuffy nose.
- Remove mucus from the child's nose with a bulb syringe. You can thin mucus with saline nasal spray and reduce nasal congestion with saline nasal gel.
- Give the child a warm bath. Dress him in light clothing and keep his room cool.
- Give children's formula acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to relieve muscle aches, a headache, fever, and sore throat. Don't give aspirin to a child under 16.
- Don't give a child under 6 cold or cough medicine.
3. Prevent Flu
- Make sure a child older than 6 months of age gets a flu vaccine every year.