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Cold and Flu

Girl with rainbow coloured umbrella and yellow raincoat protected from rain and cold and flu

Colds and Flu in Infants and Children

Colds and flu are alike in many ways, but certain things are more common in one than the other. With a cold or the flu, severity and duration of symptoms may vary by individual.

Symptoms and Solutions for Cold and Flu

Determine if your child has a cold or the flu by checking their symptoms:

Symptoms Cold Flu
Fever Rare Common
Headache Rare Common
General Aches and Pain Slight Severe
Fatigue, Weakness Sometimes Common
Exhaustion Never Common
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Common Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort Sometimes Common
Cough Common Common

Note: Symptoms may vary depending on the child


Stopping the stuffiness

Stuffy noses are a common symptom of colds.

  • Help clear your child’s nasal passages by putting three drops of warm tap water into the nasal passages and using cotton swabs to wipe out loosened mucus.
  • Saline (saltwater) nose drops can also help thin nasal discharge. Place a few drops into each nostril followed by a gentle bulb suction. Ask your doctor what saline drops would be appropriate for your child.

Loss of appetite

  • When your child has a cold, it’s important that he or she doesn’t become dehydrated.
  • Encourage him or her to consume lots of fluids even if the child doesn’t feel like eating or drinking.

Managing Chest Congestion:

  • A cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer can help relieve your child’s chest congestion.

Sore throat:

  • Help relieve your child’s sore throat by giving your child warm salt water to gargle with

Advil Infants & Children’s Pain & Fever, works to help temporarily reduce fever for up to 8 hours and relieve minor aches and pains due to the common cold.

When in doubt, it is always best to consult with your healthcare professional.

Cold and Flu Hygiene

After a bout of cold and flu, when you go back to work or your child returns to day-care or school, it’s important to help prevent the spread to others. It is so easy for a cold to be passed from person to person using things like toys, tissues, even a cuddle or a kiss.

To help prevent the spread of colds:

  • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Keep hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Use tissues to blow your nose, and throw them away after use
  • Wash your hands with soap, particularly before preparing, touching or eating food and after blowing your nose
  • Avoid sharing cups, glasses and cutlery