Winter is here and along with it comes respiratory illnesses like the common cold and flu. These illnesses are spread easily from person to person so it is important to recognize the difference and keep sick kids home so they can recover!
Cold symptoms appear slowly and are not usually accompanied by symptoms like fever, chills, or muscle aches.
Symptoms of a common cold often include cough, feeling tired, stuffy nose, sore throat, and occasionally chest discomfort.
Treatment for a cold include over-the-counter medications like antihistamines, decongestants, pain reliever, fever reducers, rest, and hydration.
Flu symptoms are more severe and appear more suddenly.
Symptoms DO include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and pains, feeling tired and weak, cough which can last for weeks, stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, and chest discomfort.
If you suspect your child has the flu you should see a doctor immediately so they can prescribe antiviral medications like Tamiflu. Other treatments are similar to those used for a cold (antihistamines, etc..) and lots of rest and hydration.
It is important to practice good hand washing, cover coughs and sneezes by using your elbow, not your hands, clean all surfaces touched by those who are sick, getting an annual flu vaccine, and stay home when sick so these illnesses do not spread to others.
Information from: The Oklahoma State Department of Health Acute Disease Service. More information can be found under the Document Uploads and Links tabs on the left.