|What’s the difference?|
“I can’t tell if my preschooler is catching a cold or the flu. How can I know which it is?”
You can use the general symptom checklist below to help you figure out what your child means by “Mommy, I don’t feel good.”
Remember, your child doesn’t need to have all the symptoms to have the flu or a cold. In fact, flu sometimes has coldlike symptoms. But the swiftness and intensity of flu’s onset are its most common signs.
Flu caught within 48 hours of first symptoms can sometimes be treated with an antiviral prescription medicine. This can shorten your child’s illness by a day or two. Check with your pediatrician if this therapy is suitable for your little patient.
And whether it’s a cold or the flu, comfort your child with plenty of liquids, bed rest and acetaminophen for fever and aches.
|Symptom||The flu||A cold|
|Did the illness come on …||suddenly||slowly|
|Is your child’s fever …||high||mild (or absent)|
|Is your child acting …||exhausted||a bit “out of it”|
|Is your child’s cough …||dry||hacking|
|Is his or her throat …||normal||red, sore|
|Is your child’s nose …||dry||runny|
|Does his or her head …||ache||not ache|
|Has your child’s appetite …||gone down||stayed the same|
|Do your child’s muscles …||ache||not ache|
|Does your child have …||chills||no chills|