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A kids doctor can help determine if your child has flu

Kids doctors warn that flu season officially begins this month. If your child already seems to be under the weather, the first thing to do is establish exactly what is wrong — whether it is a case of influenza, the common cold or an allergy.

In the case of the common cold, the onset of the illness is likely to take several days. If it seems to happen overnight, the problem is the flu or an allergy. The symptoms of flu are typically more intense than those of a cold, with higher fever and more severe chills. Flu also tends to cause headaches, muscle aches and exhaustion and decreased appetite.

Allergies are most likely to occur at the change of the seasons, especially spring and fall, so if they have not affected your child by now they are not likely to do so this year. They cause itchy, watery eyes, but do not cause yellowish or greenish nasal discharge. If in doubt, ask your kids doctor.

Caring for your child if he or she gets the flu

In most cases, this is fairly simple. Best rest and plenty of fluids are the key to helping your child fight the flu.Since there are likely to be both chills and fever, kids doctors recommend you use layers of clothing and blankets that can be removed or added as necessary. Also, make sure the rest of the family gets flu vaccinations, and wash your hands thoroughly after every time you check up on your child. If your child is suffering from headaches or muscle aches, moderate doses of ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used, but not aspirin.

Speaking of flu shots…

There is still plenty of time to get your children vaccinated for this flu season, but you should still act quickly, because it takes between one and two weeks for the vaccine to take effect. Kids doctors recommend that anyone who can receive the flu vaccine do so, but especially any child between the ages of six months and four years, anyone over 65 years old, pregnant women and those with chronic conditions or weakened immune systems.

A kids doctor in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a kids doctor conveniently located west of Charlotte.It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If you are worried about the flu andare looking for a kids doctor, call today.