Flu Specialist

Liberty Pediatrics

Pediatrics located in Liberty Park, Vestavia, AL

When your child has the flu, helping them find relief is a parent’s top priority. For families in and around the Liberty Park area of Vestavia, Alabama, the care of Riley Livingston, MD, at Liberty Pediatrics can make it far easier to weather a bout of the flu. Reach out as soon as symptoms develop to increase your chances of swift relief. Online scheduling is available, or you can always call the office to check appointment availability.

Flu Q & A

What is the flu?

The flu is a viral infection that is easily passed from one person to another. There are several different types of the flu, some of which cause widespread illness virtually every winter season. 

Kids tend to catch and spread the flu more than adults. That may be due to the close quarters of the classroom or daycare environment, or because kids aren’t always the best at covering their mouths when they cough or washing their hands after touching shared surfaces like water fountains and doorknobs.

Most kids recover from the flu in around a week, but some develop serious symptoms and stay sick for a longer period of time. In some cases, children with an especially bad case of the flu need to be hospitalized. 

Flu shots are available during each year’s flu season, and can dramatically lower your child’s risk of getting the flu. Ask about this precautionary measure during your next well child visit or by phone. 

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms are similar to those of the common cold, so it can be hard to know when your child has the flu. In general, flu symptoms tend to be more severe than a cold.

Some signs of the flu in children include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Cough that gets progressively worse 

If your child displays these symptoms, schedule a sick visit right away. 

What can be done to treat the flu?

Treatment is focused on easing symptoms and making your child more comfortable as they fight off the infection. A rapid flu test can quickly determine if your child has the flu, and even if the test comes back negative, Dr. Livingston can check for signs of a different type of flu virus that may not respond to rapid testing. 

There are antiviral medications that can ease your child’s symptoms and shorten the length of their illness. While it isn’t a cure for the flu, these medications can make a world of difference in how your child feels. These drugs only work, however, when taken within a day or two after symptoms develop. 

Acetaminophen and cough medication can help lessen symptoms, but it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions in regards to dosing. A child should never be given aspirin if a fever is present. 

If your child is showing signs of the flu, call Liberty Pediatrics right away to set up a sick visit. The practice keeps time open in the schedule to allow for short-notice visits and can help your little one begin to feel better.