The flu (influenza) is caused by a virus. The virus infects the nose, throat, and air passages to the lungs. Your child will probably have a runny nose, sore throat, and cough. Your child may have more muscle pain, headache, fever, and chills than if he had a cold. Flu gets spread when people sneeze, cough, or touch something that a sick person touched. If your child is between 6 months and 18 years old, he should get a flu shot.
Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 6 hours or ibuprofen (Advil) every 8 hours for discomfort or fever over 102°F (39°C).
Do not give your child aspirin.
Give cough drops to your child if he is older than 6 years old. If your child is over 1 year old, you can give him honey (1/2 to 1 teaspoon as needed). Never give honey to babies. If you do not have honey, use corn syrup.
Give hard candy to children over 6 years old. Warm chicken broth may also help children over 1 year old.
Put saline (salt water) nose drops into your child's nose. You can buy saline nose drops or spray without a prescription. Then have the child blow his nose or you can use a suction bulb. This will open most blocked noses.
Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids.
These medicines are only prescribed for children at high risk for getting very sick. Not for healthy children.