Does Your Child Have The Flu? When to Seek Emergency Care

Does your child have the flu?
How can you tell if your child has the flu?

Does your child have the flu? According to the most recent report from the New Jersey Department of Health, the influenza activity level in Northeast New Jersey is high. For parents of young children in the Bergen County area, it is important to recognize the symptoms of the flu and then to seek the correct treatment.

Typical flu-like symptoms:

Fever (usually high)
Headache
Extreme tiredness
Dry cough
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle aches
Sore throat
Sometimes vomiting
Sometimes diarrhea

It is difficult to distinguish the flu from other infections on the basis of symptoms alone. A doctor’s exam may be needed to tell whether you have developed the flu or a complication of the flu. There are tests that can determine if you have the flu as long as you are tested within the first 2 or 3 days of illness.

If you develop flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your illness, especially if you are at high risk for complications of the flu, you should consult a healthcare provider. Those at high risk for complications include people 65 years or older, those with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and young children.

Seek emergency care for children with flu:

Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish or gray skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Severe or persistent vomiting
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Seek emergency care for adults with flu:

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Local Northern NJ flu information and clinics:
You’ll find general information for Bergen County residents regarding influenza surveillance and local flu clinics at the Bergen County Department of Health Services website.

Does your child have a sore throat? Click here to view helpful Tenafly Pediatrics video blog.

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