With school now in session, parents need to be on the lookout for runny noses, scratchy throats and constant sneezing. The all-too familiar cold symptoms — you can’t miss them.
It’s also that time of year when parents need to start thinking about protecting their kids from this season’s flu virus. Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and peaks between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Though different viruses cause them, the flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses and share similar symptoms, so it can be difficult to tell them apart. Many parents are left wondering, does my child have the flu or a cold?
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and symptoms are more intense. In fact, the flu can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia. A big difference between the viruses is that a cold will most likely not give your child a high fever and body aches.
The rate at which symptoms appear is another strong differentiating factor. Colds normally develop slowly over a few days, whereas the flu symptoms can come on suddenly. Also, severe symptoms from the flu normally subside in about 3 days, whereas cold symptoms can last 7 to 10 days.
The chart below lists typical symptoms for the flu and common cold. Taking stock of symptoms and how long they last will help you determine what’s causing your child trouble.
MyChart makes it easy to schedule your child’s flu vaccine at Akron Children’s pediatrics offices this fall whether on your computer, smart phone or tablet. If you already received the flu vaccine outside of Akron Children’s, you can update your records as complete in MyChart.
In addition, if your child gets tested for the flu virus, the results are automatically released to MyChart as soon as they become available. You will receive an email message notifying you that your child’s test results are available in MyChart.
For questions about MyChart, call 330-543-4400 or email email@example.com.