The Common Cold and the Flu

‘Tis the season for sniffles and fevers.You’re probably worried about your little ones during this time of the year, and you want to do all you can to keep them healthy. Knowledge is key when it comes to preventing illness. Read on to learn what you can do to keep your little one healthy.
There is some overlap between the symptoms of a cold and the flu, and they are often mistaken for each other. Symptoms of the common cold include:

Symptoms of the Common Cold

  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Slight fever
  • Cough
  • Runny Nose
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Tiredness

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Dry cough
  • Possible fever
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Severe body aches
  • Headache
  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Possible vomiting

Do I have a cold or the flu?

If your sickness seems to come on suddenly, and it fills your whole body with chills or aching, it’s probably the flu. On the other hand, if you feel an illness slowly creeping on and the symptoms are primarily above the neck, you probably have a cold.

Prevention is Key

When it comes to fighting colds and the flu, prevention is key. Here are some quick things you can to do help you and your family stay healthy this winter:
  • Wash your hands frequently: The number one thing you can do to prevent colds and the flu is to make sure that you and your family are washing your hands frequently. Those who are sick often cough or sneeze into their hands and then touch surfaces such as doorknobs or railings that you then touch, exposing yourself to these germs. If you’re away from home and can’t stop to wash hands, carry hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth: The eyes, nose, and mouth are the perfect gateway for bacteria and viruses to enter our bodies. During this season, avoid touching your face as often as possible. This is always difficult for little children, as they always seem to have their hands up their nose or in their mouth, but remind them that doing so may increase their chances of getting sick, and do your best to monitor them.
  • Don’t share cups and utensils even within the family: Most people don’t begin to show symptoms of the cold or flu for 2-3 days after they have been exposed to the virus. Avoid sharing cups and utensils during cold and flu season. Just because one family member gets sick, doesn’t mean everyone has to.
  • Adopt healthy habits: It is important to keep you and your family healthy during this season by adopting healthy habits such as regular exercise, eating right, and getting plenty of sleep. It’s never too late to start, and these healthy habits will boost your immune system along with a host of other benefits.

Treating a Cold or the Flu

If you or one of your children gets sick this season, don’t let it take away your holiday cheer. Here are a few things that you can do to help you or your child get well soon.
  • Get plenty of rest: Even if your symptoms make it difficult to sleep, resting will help your body recover faster than staying busy.
  • Use medicines: Such as a cough suppressant, decongestant, and antihistamine as appropriate to help soothe symptoms. If you are giving one of these to your children, double check with us to make sure that it is ok for them to take.
  • Drink plenty of liquids when you are sick:  So that you don’t get dehydrated, and so that you can help your body fight off the illness faster.
  • If your child doesn’t get better within a few days: Or if your child has a high fever or is vomiting frequently, call our office. Here at Wee Care Pediatrics, our Layton, UT location is open 24/7. We’ll help you make sure your child stays safe and returns to full health.