It’s been quite a year! If you are like us, you child has probably been sick more than once already this cold and flu season, which is why we decided to check in with Nathan Kiskila, M.D. of Marque Urgent Care in Newport Beach to ask for a little advice.
Your child wakes up with a sore throat, fever, stuffy nose and cough. Could it be the flu? Or just a cold? What should you do? Both the flu and common cold are both caused by viruses and their symptoms can often be similar. It’s not always easy to tell, but one of the real differences is how fast your child feels symptoms and how bad they are. Though the flu typically makes kids feel worse than if they have a common cold, an illness that seems like a cold can turn out to be the flu. If your child isn’t feeling well, ask yourself: Is your child feeling achy or sore? Fever? Lethargic or have low energy? Did the illness come on suddenly? Does your child have the chills or less of an appetite?
If most of the questions are “yes,” chances are your child does have the flu. If most are “no,” then it’s probably a cold.
But, when should you call the doctor? If you have any doubts, it’s best to schedule an appointment for your child to be seen. Sometimes doctors need to do a test to know for sure if your child has the flu or a cold. If you are prescribed medication to help relieve symptoms, you’ll have a better outcome the sooner you start treatment. So, it’s best to be tested and seen by the doctor sooner than later if you suspect the flu. To help prevent the flu, get the flu shot, stay away from others who are sick, and wash your hands frequently with warm water and an antibacterial soap. Remember, the flu is very contagious, so it’s important to keep your child home if he/she starts to feel sick. If you do have other family members who are healthy, remember to disinfect surfaces or items that may have the flu germs on them. Wash bedsheets often and dry them on the hot setting. Prevention is key when it comes to the flu so be prepared!
Nathan Kiskila, M.D.