What To Do If Your Child Develops Flu Complications

Even if your child has the flu, the ER may not be the best place to go.

Signs that your child might be developing complications from the flu:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or grey skin color
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not urinating or no tears when crying
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • A fever that goes away and then comes back
  • A new rash
  • Being so irritable that he or she does not want to be held

What to do if your child seems to be developing complications from the flu:

  • Call your doctor, especially if your child is younger than 5 years old and has a chronic medical condition such as asthma and diabetes
  • If your child has a fever, use a medicine such as Advil, Motrin, Nuprin or Tylenol in a dose appropriate for your child's age
  • Keep your sick child home until at least 24 hours after he or she no longer has a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks fluids to keep from becoming dehydrated
  • Keep your sick child in a separate room in the house as much as possible to limit contact with household members who are not sick

Sources: Children's Hospital Boston and

This program aired on November 5, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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Sacha Pfeiffer Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.



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