Flu Symptoms in Children – Identifying the Danger Signs

Flu symptoms in children are commonly exhibited during winter, as this is a communicable condition that spreads rapidly, especially among children.

The Reasons Behind Flu Symptoms In Children

School-going children are at high risk of contracting flu as their immune systems (the defense mechanisms of their bodies) are not fully developed. The infection spreads when they mingle with their already-infected classmates, without taking the necessary precautions. Flu symptoms in children typically begin with high fever (sometimes rising above 103 F or 39.4 °C) and are accompanied by chills.

flu symptoms in children

Flu symptoms in children mainly arise due to their underdeveloped immune systems.

About 20000 children of age 5 are hospitalized in the US every year for flu complications.

Common Flu Symptoms In Children (Above 5 Years Of Age)

Apart from the high fever and chills mentioned above, flu comes with symptoms like dry cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue or tiredness, runny nose, and muscle and joint pain. Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting are also frequently observed.

In addition to these typical flu symptoms in children, some danger signs may be visible, indicating an emergency. They are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Fast breathing
  • Bluish discoloration of the skin
  • A return of symptoms that seemed to have disappeared
  • Irritability
  • Decrease water intake

Common Flu Symptoms In Children (Below 5 Years Of Age)

Children younger than 5 years of age face a high risk of developing complications, including febrile seizures, when infected with the flu. Asthma, diabetes and any other underlying medical conditions also worsen during flu infection.

In younger children (6 months – 5 years of age), the influenza infection pattern resembles the patterns of infections like croup, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Danger signs in infants include:

  • Lack of tears
  • Less wet diapers than usual
  • Poor intake of food

In infants, there is a danger that signs may go unnoticed, as they are often non-specific.

If the condition is not treated on time, influenza can induce serious complications and turn deadly, even in the healthiest of children. For this reason, parents are advised to pay close attention to flu symptoms in children and consult a doctor immediately in case they notice any.


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