Key Points About the Flu in Children
- Influenza (flu) is a very contagious viral infection of the respiratory system.
- It causes a high fever, body aches, a cough and other symptoms.
- Most children are ill with the flu for less than a week. But some children have a more serious illness and may need to be treated in the hospital. The flu may also lead to lung infection (pneumonia) or death.
- The flu may be treated with acetaminophen, cough medicine and antiviral medicine. Your child will also need lots of rest and plenty of fluids.
- The best way to prevent flu is to have the yearly flu vaccine. The vaccine is advised for all children 6 months and older.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the flu?
What causes the flu in a child?
Which children are at risk for the flu?
What are the symptoms of the flu in a child?
How is the flu diagnosed in a child?
How is the flu treated in a child?
What are possible complications of the flu in a child?
How can I help prevent the flu in my child?
When should I call my child's healthcare provider?
Infectious Diseases Treatment at Children's National Hospital
Our Division of Infectious Diseases is the major referral center for infectious diseases in the Washington, D.C., area, helping thousands of young patients each year with contagious conditions. Discover more about the treatments we offer.
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Departments that Treat Influenza
Our Division of Infectious Diseases is the major referral center for infectious diseases in the Washington, D.C., area, helping thousands of patients each year, and actively promoting prevention through community outreach and education.