Influenza, Child

ExitCare ImageInfluenza (flu) is an infection in the mouth, nose, and throat (respiratory tract) caused by a virus. The flu can make you feel very sick. Influenza spreads easily from person to person (contagious).


  • Only give medicines as told by your child's doctor. Do not give aspirin to children.

  • Use cough syrups as told by your child's doctor. Always ask your doctor before giving cough and cold medicines to children under 4 years old.

  • Use a cool mist humidifier to make breathing easier.

  • Have your child rest until his or her fever goes away. This usually takes 3 to 4 days.

  • Have your child drink enough fluids to keep his or her pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.

  • Gently clear mucus from young children's noses with a bulb syringe.

  • Make sure older children cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

  • Wash your hands and your child's hands well to avoid spreading the flu.

  • Keep your child home from day care or school until the fever has been gone for at least 1 full day.

  • Make sure children over 6 months old get a flu shot every year.


  • Your child starts breathing fast or has trouble breathing.

  • Your child's skin turns blue or purple.

  • Your child is not drinking enough fluids.

  • Your child will not wake up or interact with you.

  • Your child feels so sick that he or she does not want to be held.

  • Your child gets better from the flu but gets sick again with a fever and cough.

  • Your child has ear pain. In young children and babies, this may cause crying and waking at night.

  • Your child has chest pain.

  • Your child has a cough that gets worse or makes him or her throw up (vomit).


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your child's condition.

  • Will get help right away if your child is not doing well or gets worse.