Flu Symptoms in Kids: How to Detect Early and Treat?

flu symptoms in kids

During the months of winter, the occurrence of flu is generally at its peak. Children often get down with the flu, and it is thus vital to know about the flu symptoms in kids so that you can take control whenever they appear. Read on to get a clear idea about the signs and how to handle them on their occurrence.

Flu symptoms in kids

In most of the cases, the flu symptoms in kids are quite similar to those of adults. These include:

Sudden onset

The flu generally occurs suddenly in children. The child may be okay even till morning and then suddenly get down with the other symptoms of the flu.


Children affected with the flu generally feel dizzy. This is one of the most common symptoms to watch out.


The flu generally comes along with fever. If your child has a fever that lasts for a day or two, he/she has most likely got the flu.

Lessened appetite

The appetite of a child is most likely to decrease when affected by the flu. It is quite a common symptom, and the adults should take notice of it immediately.


A child affected with the flu will be feeling relatively weak. That is why rest is a significant part of getting better from the flu. If your child seems particularly weak out of nowhere, then you should attend to him/her to understand if he/she has the flu.

Body and muscle ache

If your child is suddenly complaining about their muscles and body hurting, then you should be careful. Muscle and body ache are one of the most common flu symptoms in kids.

Chest Congestion

Your kid, who has been affected by the flu, is most likely to have a congested chest. The common flu is often caused by catching the cold and therefore, chest congestion is quite a common symptom that comes with the flu.

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Since your child is most likely to have a fever when he/she has the flu, chills are also a part of the flu symptoms. However, shivers and chills can come without a fever as well.


Flu often comes with coughing and sneezing. Since the child who has got the flu might have caught cold, it is natural that he/she will get a cough.

Runny nose

The flu affected child might have a runny nose. If you see your child is coughing and having a runny nose along with the other symptoms of the flu, you might take him to the doctor for a professional diagnosis.

Sore throat

Along with the cough, flu often causes a sore throat as well. Having a sore throat is quite painful as the child will feel trouble while swallowing food or liquid. It also causes a constant and painful sensation in the throat. It is best to take the child having a sore throat to the doctor for professional help.


Another one of the flu symptoms in kids includes earache in one or both of the ears. If your child suddenly tells that his/her ear is aching, it is best to go to the doctor. It can be the flu, and it can be some ear-related problem as well. In either case, professional medical help is recommended.


Children might feel nauseated if they are affected by the flu. Suddenly feeling nauseated is one of the early symptoms of the flu and should not be taken lightly.


Some children might also vomit repeatedly if they have got the flu. If the vomiting does not stop within a day or two and is accompanied with other mentioned symptoms, then one should take the child to a doctor.

signs of the flu

When to take child to hospital for flu?

If you notice the symptoms mentioned above in your young baby and suspect he/she has the flu, then you should get in touch with their pediatrician immediately. In the case of older children and toddlers, you should check with the doctor in case the symptoms are getting worse.

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The doctor will be able to make a thorough diagnosis based on the symptoms. They might also prescribe specific tests that would be able to detect if your child has been affected with the flu or not.

In case you have already consulted a doctor, and yet the symptoms keep getting worse, you should contact them again. If taking prescribed medication does not help, then it is essential to change the medicine after consulting with the doctor again.

Moreover, certain other symptoms should prompt you to take your child immediately to the doctor no matter their age:

  • Refusal to drink water or any fluid and showing signs of dehydration.
  • Extreme lethargy
  • A tinge of blue around nails and the lips and a bluish hue to the skin of the body
  • Not waking up easily
  • A sudden spike in the fever after the primary fever has subsided
  • Difficulty to breathe
  • The neck getting stiff
  • An intense headache
  • Being extremely fussy
  • Refusal to be touched or held; especially in older babies and toddlers
  • Extreme crankiness and irritability; majorly in older babies and toddlers

flu symptoms in kids

Final thoughts

These symptoms require immediate attention. Even if there is the onset of any of these symptoms, it is important to take the baby to a doctor. Delaying in seeing the doctor might lead to different complications that will cause a threat to the child’s life.

These are the main things you need to know about the symptoms of the flu in children.

While medical help is required to get well, it is also essential that the flu affected child gets lots of rest and remains hydrated.

Being dehydrated while having the flu can lead to various other complications that would be difficult to treat. Getting enough rest and eating proper food will help the body to build immunity against the flu virus and thus help the child get better.

Along with that, the doctor’s prescribed medication will also help the child to combat the flu.