Influenza, Child

Flu is an infection caused by a virus. Flu starts suddenly, usually with a fever. Your child will be much sicker than if they have a cold. Your child may cough, have a runny nose, and not feel like doing much. Flu spreads easily from one person to another.


  • Wash your hands often and help your child do the same. Hand wipes may be easier.

  • Teach your child to cough into the inside of their elbow if they are old enough. Wash your hands after touching a tissue that you used to wipe your child's face.

  • Offer your child something to drink every hour while they are awake. It is normal for a child with flu to not feel like eating, but they need extra fluids.

  • Let your child rest.

  • Use a light blanket to cover your child if they have a fever.

  • Do not share spoons, forks, knives, plates, cups, or toothbrushes with other members of the family.

  • Only give your child medicine as told by your doctor. D o not give your child aspirin.


  • Your baby is 3 months or younger with a rectal temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher.

  • Your baby is older than 3 months with a rectal temperature of 102° F (38.9° C) or higher.

  • Your child has trouble breathing or coughs up thick spit (mucus).

  • Your child cannot drink or take medicine.

  • Your child has other health problems like heart or lung disease that may make him or her more sick from the flu.

  • Your child seems confused, has changes in behavior, or is hard to wake up.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

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