Flu Symptoms 2018: Should I take my kid to the doctor for the flu?

Confident mid adult Asian female pediatrician uses a tongue depressor to look at young African American girl's throat. The girl's mother is holding her.

Flu Symptoms 2018: Should I take my kid to the doctor for the flu?

Health and Safety

Flu Symptoms 2018: Should I take my kid to the doctor for the flu?


Flu season hit hard and fast this year.

If you’ve Googled “flu symptoms 2018,” you’re not alone.

Credit: Giphy

But you should probably know that year over year, flu symptoms really don’t change.

Influenza symptoms to look for

All the Moms spoke to Pediatric Emergency Physician Dr. Jon McGreevy from Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona to learn more.

If you’re talking about influenza (and not the stomach flu), the symptoms, according to Dr. McGreevy, include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Body aches, muscle pain

Nausea isn’t typically a symptom of influenza, by the way. The stomach flu is not influenza. It’s just the stomach flu. Glad we cleared that up.

Credit: Giphy

What to beware of with the flu

Symptoms for children, adults and the elderly also don’t change as it pertains to the flu.

However, the risks are higher for:

  • Children younger than 2
  • Adults older than 65
  • Those with chronic illness or high-risk medical conditions

High-risk conditions might include asthma, childhood cancer or heart disease, among others.

If you think your child might have the flu

Credit: Getty Images

High-risk individuals, like those mentioned above, should seek medical attention sooner rather than later.

But there’s no perfect answer for when to visit the doctor.

If you decide to wait a day or so, fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help with high temperatures. Someone experiencing a fever over multiple days should likely see a doctor, Dr. McGreevy said.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have something to fear, Dr. McGreevy said. Most of his flu patients this year had fevers for about seven days.

A warning: Cough suppressants can also help, he said, but it’s not advised for children younger than 5, as it’s linked to an increased risk for sudden death.

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