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5 Signs Your Toddler Has the Flu

5 Signs Your Toddler Has the Flu

No one likes getting the flu, but it seems worse when young children have it. In fact, infection rates are highest among kids. Millions of kids get the flu every year, and an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized each year due to flu complications.

The flu’s a big deal — it’s more dangerous than the common cold. Given this, parents of toddlers are understandably worried about their children developing the flu.

At Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, we specialize in providing treatment to relieve flu symptoms afflicting any member of the family, including your children. Here are five signs you should watch for to determine if your toddler has the flu.

High fever

We’re not talking about just a minor, low-grade fever. The flu can come with a sudden high temperature that sticks around even when you use fever reducers. It can reach 103°F to 105°F. Chills may sometimes accompany the high fever.


When your child has the flu, they usually develop a persistent, dry cough that tends to hang on for a while. It eventually goes away on its own, but if it comes on quickly, it’s a sign of the flu.

Body aches

These may be severe at times, causing the muscles to ache uncontrollably. These aches contribute greatly to how bad your child feels when they have the flu.


In some cases, your child may experience some combination of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These are also signs of other illnesses, but when they appear alongside other symptoms, they may mean your child has the flu.

Weakness and exhaustion

A child with the flu is typically weak and lethargic, feeling much more tired than they would otherwise. They sleep much longer than they normally do and won’t feel up to much activity. They probably also have less of an appetite than usual.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell if your child has a cold or the flu. With the flu, the symptoms usually come on much more quickly and the fever is higher. Muscle aches and low energy are also much more likely with the flu than with a cold.

If you’re concerned that your child has the flu, our team of providers at Arlington Family Practice stands ready to give them the best care possible to relieve their symptoms. Call our office without delay or book an appointment online, and we’ll see your child right away!

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