How do you know when a cold develops into full blown flu? What do you do if the patient is a child who's too young to tell you how they're feeling? New website Flu and You has recently launched to help people identify and fight flu symptoms.
These are the symptoms to look out for in your child:
Call your GP immediately if your child has any of the following symptoms and a temperature of 38°C or above, or feels hot:
• Loss of appetite.
• Runny nose and sneezing.
• Sore throat.
• Shortness of breath.
• Vomiting and diarrhoea.
• Aching muscles, limb and joint pain.
If you are at all worried about your child you should always call your GP for advice.
Under ones should always be seen by a GP.
Please seek advice if a child of any age is not getting better after 4-5 days. One thing you can do now is ensure you have a thermometer to take your child's temperature and the appropriate remedies in your medicine cabinet to use in the first stages of any flu symptoms, such as Nurofen for Children Singles (ibuprofen) for pain and fever.
If children do exhibit flu-like symptoms make sure they drink plenty of fluids and have lots of rest. Over the counter cold and flu remedies can help relieve some of the symptoms and, importantly, help reduce their temperature. Always read the label.
If you are worried about any type of flu contact your GP and they will be able to tell you whether antiviral drugs would be appropriate for your child. Antivirals shorten the symptoms by about a day and can reduce the risk of complications; however they are only effective if taken within 48 hours of symptoms starting.