Identifying Flu Symptoms in Babies

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The flu is an infection of throat, nose and lungs caused influenza, a family of viruses. These viruses change slightly every year, so it’s tough to build a strong immunity to the group. That’s why young children need flu shots every year.

Flu season starts in October and lasts until about March. Your doctor’s office (and most local pharmacies) can administer flu shots. It’s particularly contagious because it spreads before symptoms become apparent, meaning people pass on the flu before they know they have it.

The flu can be dangerous to children under five. It travels easily through playgrounds, daycare centers and schools. The severity of the illness is always different, so one year you might push through the flu easily, but the next year it might keep you in bed. About 20,000 children are hospitalized each year with the flu, but millions more suffer without needing medical attention.

How you can tell if your baby has a the flu

It’s sometimes tough to distinguish between the common cold and the flu, but here’s how you can tell.

  • A sudden, burst fever of 101 Fahrenheit or higher
  • Respiratory problems, like a dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Dry throat
  • Mild body aches
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills

When to call the doctor

Often the flu can be treated at home with fluids and bed rest, but in more serious cases you’ll have to contact your doctor or visit the emergency room. Here’s how you can tell.

  • Your child has a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Your baby (under 3 months) has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • A cough that lasts more than a week
  • Nasal mucus persists for a week
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Regular wheezing
  • A slight fever that lasts more than a day
  • An earache (if your baby can’t speak, watch her behavior – she may be pulling at her ears)
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Child is lethargic and sleepy at unusual times
  • Your baby recovers from an illness, but gets sick again soon after

The most important thing you can do for your baby (other than taking your doctor’s advice and any medication he/she prescribes) is to offer lots of fluids to keep your baby hydrated. If you’re nursing, you’ll find your child wants the breast more often for comfort – don’t deny him/her. You might also want to give a pain reliever (acetaminophen), but ask your doctor first.

booger removal toolWritten by Dr. Nina Farzin, Inventor of oogiebear

Nina is a wife, mother and career professional who never intended to start her own business. When her children were newborns, she ached to ease the discomfort from dry, stubborn, crusty mucus (boogers)! As a doctor, she knew there were no safe solutions on the market to help her kids, so she invented oogiebear, a revolutionary booger removal tool that helps babies breathe easier.

Nina graduated Howard University where she earned her doctorate in Pharmacy (R.Ph, Pharm.D). She is a Registered Pharmacist in Washington DC, Maryland and New York. Nina and her family are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy outdoor activities and healthy eating.

For more information, please visit

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