Seasonal influenza (flu) is a common infection that usually starts with the sudden onset of a headache, sore throat and muscle aches.

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever, chills and shakes, headache, muscle aches, extreme tiredness, dry cough and sore throat
  • Loss of appetite is common

How does it spread?

  • Direct contact
  • Indirect contact with germs from the nose or mouth (on hands, toys, tissues, etc.)
  • Droplets transmission (when a child coughs or sneezes and droplets reach other children who are close by)

What can you do as a parent to help your child?

  • Offer your child fluids and encourage him or her to rest
  • Give acetaminophen (such as Tempra®) or ibuprofen for fever. The Canadian Paediatric Society does not recommend giving ibuprofen to babies under 6 months old without first talking to your physician
  • Clear nasal congestion with a rubber suction bulb and saline (saltwater) nose drops
  • In older children, offer salt water for gargling to help ease a sore throat.
  • Consult a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen