Influenza (the flu)


What is it?

Influenza, otherwise known as the flu, is caused by a virus that affects the respiratory system. It is most commonly seen from October through March. The virus spreads very easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing and touching surfaces that an infected person touches. The most common symptoms of the flu include sudden high fever (usually over 101), chills, fatigue, muscle aches and a hacking cough. Other symptoms include a sore throat and stuffy nose. The flu usually lasts 1-2 weeks. There is a vaccine that our office gives to help prevent the flu. If you would like your child to receive the flu vaccine, please contact the office for further information.


What can I do?

There is no medication that will make the flu go away. You may give your child Tylenol or Motrin for a fever (please see dosage charts for correct dose). Your child will need lots of rest and encourage your child to drink lots of fluids. Many children may not feel like eating normally so you may offer a bland diet. Run a cool mist humidifier in your child's room and elevate the head of the bed. Keeping surfaces in your house clean, washing your hands and your child's hands and avoiding sharing cups and utensils will help reduce the spread of the flu.


When do I call the office?

  • Please call the office immediately at any time if:
    • Your child is having any difficulty breathing or your child's nostrils are getting wider while taking a breath, the skin between your child's ribs is pulling in while breathing (retractions), any wheezing is heard or your child is breathing much more quickly than normal
    • Your child's lips or nails look blue
    • You child is under 4 months old and has a fever


  • Please call the office during normal hours if
    • Your child's cough lasts for more than 1 week
    • You child has ear pain
    • Your child complains of a very sore throat, has white spots or "pus" on the tonsils and has a fever
    • Your child has any chronic illnesses and has symptoms of the flu