It’s not as easy as everyone thinks to tell that your child has the flu. It usually comes on fast, and the flu for kids is usually much more intense than a common cold.

It’s easy to mistake the flu for a stomach bug as the symptoms are similar. However, at Night Lite Pediatrics Urgent Care, we can carry out tests to rule out any other causes for your child’s symptoms.

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Unlike most Walk-in and Pediatric Urgent Care centers, Night Lite our offices offers you the option to book an arrival time in advance prior to arriving at the clinic.

While most pediatric patients can anticipate a short wait time, booking an arrival time online should reduce the wait considerably and get you out and on with your day more quickly.

Is the flu contagious?

The flu is highly contagious, especially in children. This is because children often share tight spaces such as daycare or classrooms.

The flu is spread when children inhale droplets of infected individuals, or by coming in direct contact with mucus or spit from an infected child (usually through sharing toys).

The flu can spread anywhere between a day before the onset of symptoms, to 5-7 days after symptoms start. Therefore, it is important to practice good hygiene in your household.

At Night Lite Pediatrics we provide flu tests at all locations.

flu for children

Flu symptoms

Most children tend to develop symptoms 2-3 days after contracting. Flu for kids typically presents as:

  • High grade fever up to 104 degrees F.
  • Chills and shakes with the fever.
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Headache and body aches
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting and belly pain

Some people with the flu will not have a fever. People with the flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after.

Causes of flu in children and young adults

The flu is a viral infection caused by three main variants of the Influenza Virus:

  1. Type A – Most common
  2. Type B – Common
  3. Type C – Random

Influenza Type A and B are the most common causes of the annual flu, whereas type C presents in random cases.

bronchitis for children

Pediatric Flu Treatment

The flu in children most commonly resolves itself after around a week. However, if your child is presenting with more severe symptoms such as increased vomiting and breathlessness, then we suggest you bring them into our clinic for assessment by one of our pediatricians.

After your child’s consultation, our pediatrician may decide to prescribe a course of antiviral medications to help reduce the severity of symptoms. However, the best way to avoid spreading the flu is by getting the flu vaccine.

When to Call your Pediatrician or Return to Night Lite Pediatrics:

  • Your child has difficulty breathing and does not improve even after nasal suctioning and cleaning.
  • Your child is not improving and appears sicker than in any previous episode of illness.
  • Your child is not responding normally, for example does not cry when expected.
  • If your child is refusing to take fluids or there is absence of tears or decreased urination.


For further information, check out the section below.

Although the flu cannot be 100% avoided, you can encourage good hygiene habits at home to wash away any bacteria and viruses.

As long as your child is over 3 years of age, your local pharmacist can administer an annual flu vaccine to your child. The flu vaccine is not always given as an injection, and can instead be administered as a nasal spray.

If your child develops any breathing difficulties, has skin discoloration, or has excess diarrhea and vomiting, then we recommend you take them to the emergency room.  

Yes, the flu can develop into sinus infections, ear infections, and cause flare-ups of chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a prescription. Anyone experiencing a medical condition should consult their doctor.


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from Night Lite Pediatrics Urgent Care