How Long Do Flu Symptoms Last in Children?

How Long Do Flu Symptoms Last in Children?

Most kids get better within a week, without lingering problems. But talk to your child’s doctor if they have any complication like an earache or pressure in their head and face.

Keep your sick child home from day care and school until their fever goes away without the use of a medicine that lowers it. Also, encourage them to wash their hands frequently.


Most children’s fevers will go away on their own without treatment. However, to prevent dehydration, toddlers with flu should drink plenty of fluids.

If your child’s fever doesn’t get better, talk to your doctor. Medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help relieve the body’s aches. Never give aspirin to your child, because it can cause Reye syndrome.

Kids who have a fever should stay home from daycare, school and playgroups until they feel better. This will help them avoid infecting others, look at this website.


Cough from the flu can last for a few days or even weeks, particularly if your child has a serious illness like pneumonia or asthma. Offer cough drops or hard candy to relieve throat irritation and a warm drink to soothe aches.

The flu spreads mainly through droplets made when infected people cough, sneeze or talk. It can also spread when someone touches an object or surface with the virus on it and then touches their eyes, mouth or nose.

Sore Throat

Sore Throat

Sore throats are very common in children with the flu and may last up to a week. This is because of throat inflammation. Children may also have a swollen gland in the neck (neck pain).

Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Pediatric Advil, Motrin) can help ease the pain and fever. However, do not give aspirin to children under 12 years unless advised by your doctor. This can cause Reye’s syndrome. Kids should stay home from school and day care until they are no longer contagious.

Muscle Aches

Muscle aches usually affect a single area and can result from overuse, tension, or an injury. They can also be caused by some medications or underlying illnesses.

If your child has muscle aches, they can take an OTC pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Do not give your child aspirin, however, because it can cause Reye’s syndrome. If the ache persists, try applying heat to the affected areas. Massage can also be a great way to alleviate the pain.


Children are more likely to experience gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea when they have the flu, particularly if it’s caused by rotavirus. Rotavirus is the leading cause of stomach flu in young kids and typically requires a visit to the doctor, but the rotavirus vaccine has significantly reduced these types of illnesses.

Kids with the flu usually make a quick recovery, especially when they are given proper rest and fluids. They can return to school or daycare as soon as the vomiting and fever stop.


For many children, flu symptoms disappear within a week. Young children and those with chronic health conditions may experience more severe symptoms, such as croup (infection of the throat and airways causing hoarseness and barking cough) or pneumonia.

To prevent dehydration, offer your child small amounts of fluids, such as diluted fruit juice or Pedialyte(r). If diarrhea persists for more than two days, consult your doctor.


Children who get the flu may be confused. Confusion is a symptom of inflammation of brain tissues and can lead to a range of symptoms including hallucinations, changes in behavior and personality.

If your child is confused, have them rest. Calm activities such as reading, coloring or playing a quiet game are OK.

If your child is a HealthPartners patient or member, they can use Virtuwell, our online clinic, to talk with a doctor via video visit or get a prescription for Tamiflu.


Children often feel very tired when they have the flu. They may need to take it easy at home for a while.

Most flu symptoms go away within a week, though the fever and body aches may last longer than that. Fatigue typically goes away a few weeks after other flu symptoms have disappeared.


Kids with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or cystic fibrosis, are at higher risk for complications from the flu. They should receive antiviral medication as soon as possible.

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