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How do I know if my little one just has a cold or the flu?

My son has a cough and a fever. It's not a really bad cough, but it's there. He looks miserable and his looks are pretty much what I have to go on since my almost 2 year old is pretty much nonverbal. What are signs that I should take him to the doctor? I don't want to freak out over a cold and take him and have him end up catching something worse in the waiting room. Thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:56 PM on Oct. 25, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (9)

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:01 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • well since a fever is rare in colds, i'd say he might have the flu. the flu is also normally accompanied by aches and pains, fatigue/weakness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. if it's the flu, you cannot treat with antibiotics. the best remedy is plenty of fluids and rest if possible.

    Answer by islandmom85 at 8:02 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • Ok Anon. If he was running a super high fever or was screaming and inconsolable I would take him to the ER. What kind of doctor is even open on Sunday night?! Geez. Believe it or not I have that much sense! And you really didn't answer my question...which was how to tell if it was a cold or the flu. Thanks so much for taking up space on my question for nonsense.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:11 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • At 2 years old my doc says medicate only if over 102 and if it doesn't come down then bring them in. Otherwise let the fever do its work and get rid of that nasty bug and keep them well hydrated. Feed the BRATTY diet (bananas, rice applesauce (plain), tea (decaf), toast, yogurt) if they can keep food down. Let them rest and spoil that baby. You are right you don't want to take them in unless absolutely necessary and that would be if the fever goes over 102 and won't come down with meds or he starts to get dehydrated.

    Answer by aeneva at 8:18 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • i was told if they only have a fever wait and if they have it for 3 days bring them in(my lil one had an ear infection and they told me i had to wait 3 days) witht he flu they would be throwing up and pooping alot.

    Answer by angelairelan at 8:35 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • When my son had H1N1 he started out with a cough, then the next day had a high fever.. Just keep an eye on him and if he starts acting like he's having trouble breathing or running a really high fever call his doctor.

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 8:45 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • "witht he flu they would be throwing up and pooping alot. "

    Not necessarily..

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 8:45 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • If he has cold symptoms and a fever....consider that he has the flu.

    Cold symptoms with no fever...probably just a cold.

    A cold that starts to get better then suddenly turns around and is a lot worse, consider he has the flu even if there is no fever.

    By all means if you have concerns, call your pediatrician's office and see what they want to do. Ours doesn't want them in unless it's a high fever or some other problem. Most places around here are kind of diagnosing over the phone to cut down on exposure.

    And no...with a respiratory infection (which is what the flu is) there is rarely vomiting and diarrhea.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:25 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • If you can avoid taking a sick child to a germ infested doctor's office or emergency room, you should.

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:39 AM on Oct. 26, 2009

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