Worrying about your children this fall will be commonplace, since flu season is almost upon us right in the middle of a pandemic. Stay informed about COVID-19 vs flu symptoms in children, and it will help you to identify what to do and when to be concerned. Some symptoms will overlap, but being informed will help you to know when to call Meridian Pediatrics.
Start With A Flu Shot
Your first line of defense is to have everyone in your family get their flu shot, preferably before the end of October. The shot decreases the chances of getting the flu and decreases complications, but is not 100% effective at preventing it. You do what you can, and a flu shot is the best you can do.
The next best course of action is to continue with common preventative measures like washing hands, wearing masks, and socially distancing.
The Effects Of Going Back To School
COVID is more contagious than the flu in certain age groups and populations, and the time it takes between infection and symptoms to appear differs between the two viruses. Parents shouldn’t underestimate the impact based on what occurred during lockdowns when children were not attending school.
As many children go back to school, more infections may occur and the situation may change even though schools are trying their best to socially distance.
Overlapping Symptoms Of Both COVID And The Flu
Some of the symptoms for both the flu and COVID are similar, so it may be difficult to distinguish one from the other. Your children can also have both at the same time, so testing is necessary to know for sure.
Some symptoms are more concerning than others like respiratory issues.
Common symptoms for both viruses can include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, body aches, and chest pains.
There are some key differences including the following:
- Flu symptoms appear abruptly, but with COVID they appear gradually. This is an important difference worth noting.
- Risk of severe complications for healthy children is higher for flu than COVID.
- If a child has underlying medical conditions, then both viruses put the child at increased risk for complications.
- Shortness of breath is more common with COVID than with the flu.
- Body aches are more common with the flu than with COVID.
- Respiratory issues are more common with COVID.
- Body aches, headaches, and loss of appetite are more common with the flu.
Being aware of these similarities and differences can alert you to the seriousness of an infection and when to seek medical treatment.
Contact Meridian Pediatrics at (208) 338-5437 (KIDS) if you have concerns your child may have COVID-19 or is experiencing severe symptoms of the flu.