Is it a Cold, the Stomach Bug or Influenza? Know the Signs, Symptoms and Next Steps if Your Child Falls Ill this Flu Season
Runny noses and stuffy noses. Coughing and sneezing. Upset tummies, sore throats, fevers and fatigue. The common cold, the stomach bug and influenza are three very different illnesses that often start out looking very much the same. If your child wakes up feeling unwell or is sent home from school with a cough, sore throat, fever or congestion, how can you tell if it’s just a bug that’s going around—or something more serious? Go through our checklist below and schedule a chat with your child’s healthcare provider!
Does my child have a cold or the flu? The common cold and influenza are both caused by viruses and can look very much the same at first—and it’s so important to know the difference. Both viruses affect your child’s breathing system but colds usually clear up over time and very rarely cause complications. The flu is a bigger cause for concern (especially for children with chronic illnesses, infants and babies) and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Take a look at the symptom chart below to find the most likely culprit for your child’s illness:
|THE FLU||A COLD|
|Did your child get sick:||quickly||slowly|
|Is your child’s fever:||high||mild or nonexistant|
|Does your child have chills?||yes||no|
|Are your child’s head and muscles:||aching||just fine|
|Is your child’s energy level:||exhausted||a little tired|
|Is your child’s appetite:||gone||normal|
I think my child has a cold. What should I do? There is no vaccine that can prevent the common cold and no medicine that can cure it. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter treatments to reduce fever or congestion, but children with colds need plenty of fluids and lots of rest to get back to feeling their best. (Asking your child’s doctor for antibiotics to treat a common cold can be harmful, not helpful.) A cold usually should run its course in three to ten days. To keep your child from spreading their cold to other members of the family or their friends, encourage frequent hand-washing, remind them to cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow, and keep them home until their symptoms clear up. Continue reading
A brand-new study published in Pediatrics last month confirmed, yet again, that vaccines do not cause epilepsy, yet this myth continues to be talked about on social media, in blogs and amongst families and friends. Here is the truth about vaccines and fevers, seizures and epilepsy.
The first few years of a child’s life are a whirlwind of milestones and experiences both for the child and parents. It’s easy to get lost in all the activity. It’s also easy to assume that two things that happened close together are directly linked when they aren’t. That’s often the case with the presumed connection between epilepsy and vaccines. The fact is that children with epilepsy can experience their first seizures around the same time they are getting their first vaccinations, leading some parents to link the two. Many research studies have shown that this is just a coincidence, and childhood vaccinations do not cause epilepsy.
Here’s what you need to know…