How to Detect Flu Symptoms in Children

Flu symptoms in children may not always be the easiest to notice. Some kids may not be open about how they feel, as they usually do not know why they feel the way they do. However, since they come into contact with many other children, it’s likely they will contract the illness at least once in their lives.

As moms, it’s important that we are able to detect the classic signs of the flu so we can keep our kids healthy. Flu symptoms in kids are usually the same, though they may happen in different degrees or some may not be present in the beginning. Early detection is important so the sickness doesn’t become full blown and require more than medication.

How to Detect Flu Symptoms in Children

How to Detect Flu Symptoms in Children

1. Watch out for red cheeks. This can be a sign that your child has a fever – a very common initial symptom of the flu. If they look even just a little pink for no known reason, check your child’s temperature and monitor it to ensure it doesn’t go up. If it reaches 101 degrees, it would likely warrant a doctor’s visit (especially if other flu signs are present).

2. Take notice if your child is coughing or holding his throat. Sore throat and coughing are two common flu symptoms in children that accompany the fever. It’s possible that the kid will cough and then clutch his throat and whine. Even if he cannot express that it hurts, the physical reaction makes it fairly obvious.

3. Your child being overly tired or irritable is another of the common flu symptoms in children. Their little bodies are working in overdrive when trying to fight the infection, so they are likely to have droopy eyes, appear drowsy, or not feel like playing or eating.

4. When vomiting and/or diarrhea are added to the mix of signs, it’s possible to conclude that your child has the flu. These two symptoms typically come later in the progression of the infection, but can sometimes be the first to come on.

When multiple flu symptoms in children are detected, it is vital that you get your little one into his/her doctor’s office as soon as possible. Getting treatment early can help prevent a huge infection that lands your child in the hospital for days.


  1. says

    It’s usually when my kids are overly irritable that I know they are getting sick. Sometimes I miss this and just wonder what on earth happened to my kids to make them act like they have lost their minds. And then they’ll be obviously sick the next day and it will hit me that they weren’t really being bad the day before. They were just coming down with the flu.

  2. says

    oh man, tis the season, huh? my kids are VERY easy to “read” when they aren’t feeling well. they are so fair skinned that any illness makes their skin grey :(

  3. says

    Due to my son;s egg allergy we do not take flu shots. The shot is made in chick embryo so we don’t risk it. Instead I get a winter’s supply of black elderberry extract which is a huge help!

  4. Janet W. says

    It has been years since my daughters had the flu. My grandsons haven’t had it yet, but I appreciate the list of symptoms you listed so I can watch them closely to see if they ever show the signs.

  5. says

    These are all great tips on how to tell if your kid is getting the flu! over the years, my kids have had mild cases of the flu. two years ago, I had it so bad that I was in bed for a week and I thought i was going to die.. ugh I hate the flu! Hoping we can keep it away this year!