What are the symptoms of flu in children?

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Even though most of the flu symptoms are similar in both children and adults, there are certain differences to note. Children are the usual carriers of the flu virus and spread it quickly since they are not yet keen in observing some of the basic hygiene measures, particularly in settings such as schools and day care centers.


Children tend to run fever more often than the adults. Even though it can occur in adults, the occurrence is higher in children. The fever is not necessary problematic as long as the child feels better after giving medications. In case the child does not feel better after taking fever-reducing medications, a doctor should be consulted.


As for children, vomiting and diarrhea with the flu occur fairly frequently.

Cough is a common symptom of the flu in both children and adults which varies from dry to moist. If there is wheezing or whistling sound when the child coughs or breathes, a doctor should be consulted since this can indicate breathing difficulty.

Body aches

Children can experience body aches and pain when down with the flu but it might be difficult to tell how they are feeling. In case there are other flu symptoms present, it is certain that the child also have body aches.


This flu symptom is experienced by some to a greater degree than others. In case the child has severe congestion, you have to watch out for ear and sinus infections that tend to occur and the mucus does not drain properly.


Take note that a headache is not common among children, but a usual symptom of the flu. A young child might not tell that he/she has a headache but if he/she complains of pain on any part of the head, he/she most likely does.

Sore throat

A sore throat is another common symptom of the flu. Even though the sore throat due to flu is not as intense as strep throat, it does not hurt so bad that it disrupts with swallowing. If unsure whether the sore throat is caused by strep or flu, a doctor should be consulted.

Ear pain

Children experience ear pain with the flu even if there is no ear infection. The mucus that builds up in the sinuses causes pain and pressure and some feel that pain in the ears. If the pain persists or becomes severe, an ear infection might develop as a complication. Most cases of ear infections go away on their own, but a doctor must be consulted if there are any concerns.

Diarrhea and vomiting

Even though many believe that diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms, they are not. As for children, vomiting and diarrhea with the flu occur fairly frequently. Remember that it differs from the stomach flu since it can be accompanied by other flu symptoms such as congestion and cough.

Appetite loss and diminished energy

Most of us do not have any appetite when sick and this is true for children. In case the child is too young to tell how he/she feels, the initial signs of illness might be a diminished appetite.

Children often seem tired than usual and do not eat well before showing any other symptoms of the flu. If the child has no appetite and has diminished energy, monitor for other symptoms and consult a doctor.

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