• Influenza is caused by a virus.
  • Most healthy people recover from the flu in 1-2 weeks.
  • Young children, senior citizens, and people with certain health conditions are at higher risk from developing severe complications and even death from the flu.
  • The flu is spread by respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • The flu can spread 1 day before symptoms begin.


  • Sudden onset of fever and chills (high fever may last 7-10 days)
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise or body aches
  • Cough
  • Runny nose and congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting and diarrhea


  • The best way to avoid your child getting the flu is to get your child a flu vaccine.
  • If your child has the flu, anti-flu medications may decrease the duration of the illness.  These medications are most effective if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
  • Using acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen will help treat the fever and some of the aches and pains of the flu.
  • Your child may not have much of an appetite, but make sure your child is drinking plenty of liquids.  Dehydration is common with the flu.
  • Never give your child aspirin.  Using aspirin in children with a viral illness can cause Reye’s syndrome, which can be fatal.

If you think your child has the flu, call our office at (479)442-7322 or make an appointment online.

 Return to the Childhood Illness Guide.