Child Having Fever or Flu?

16 November 2022

Babies under one year old are susceptible to illness.

They often get flu (influenza) and colds accompanied by a cough (common cold), especially at the beginning of the rainy season like now.

Symptoms of influenza include fever and muscle aches. On the other hand, the symptoms of the common cold include sneezing, nasal congestion, and sore throat, but it is rarely accompanied by fever. Fever is not always a sign of influenza. Fever can also be caused by other infections.

So, how to distinguish fever caused by other infections and fever due to the flu? How to handle it? And what are the complications that come with it? Check out the following explanation.

Why Fever?

Fever is a common symptom of an infectious disease or non-infectious condition, including the physiological condition of the body. Fever can also occur due to an increase in body temperature due to lack of body fluids (dehydration), increased metabolism during exercise and other reasons. Body affected by infection is almost always accompanied by fever.

Infections can occur in the skin, respiratory tract, urinary tract, and other body systems. One of them, acute respiratory infections are usually accompanied by fever, as well as respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, and other bodily symptoms.

Symptoms of the Flu and Cold Cough

Flu symptoms generally begin with local respiratory (nose) symptoms and systemic symptoms. Local respiratory symptoms include coughing with phlegm, shortness of breath, and dry and sore throat. Meanwhile, systemic symptoms in the form of high fever, in children are often accompanied by chills, headache, body feels weak, sometimes accompanied by muscle pain.

Meanwhile, the symptoms of the common cold vary widely, which attacks the upper respiratory tract (locally) and systemically. Local symptoms include a hot and itchy nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, mucus that often comes out that looks runny and clear, watery eyes, sore throat, and dryness.

Mild systemic symptoms include low-grade fever, mild weakness, mild headache, and aches. Systemic symptoms generally occur when the cause is an infection which is more likely to occur when the body's immune system decreases, or when the body experiences fatigue, cold, chronic illness, and in infants whose immune systems are relatively low.

While the cough that accompanies a cold is usually accompanied by phlegm due to the descent of mucus into the airways that stimulates the cough reflex. Cough in infection can cough with phlegm or dry depending on the germs that cause it. Coughs in allergies can ve in the form of coughing without phlegm to coughing up phlegm. Cough due to infection is usually accompanied by symptoms such as fever, decreased appetite, diarrhea, and so on.

Cough can strike at any time. When caused by allergies, cough is episodic depending on triggering factors such as certain foods, cold air, or a history of allergies that support this condition. If there is no infection, there are no symptoms of fever.

Causative factor

Cough and cold (common cold) and flu (influenza) are caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. It can also be caused by trigger factors (allergens) such as dust, cold air, animal dander, house dust mites, cigarette smoke or motor vehicles, air conditioning, fans, and the presence of foreign objects or lesions in the airways.

While the causes of cough in general are infection, allergies or inflammation, aspiration or lesions in the airways, smoke or gas, primary lung disease, or causes outside the lungs such as gastro-oesophageal reflux, congenital heart disease or psychological.

Handling a child's fever up and down accompanied by flu and cold cough

1. Give paracetamol to reduce fever

Fever-lowering drugs containing paracetamol can be given when the child's body temperature is more than 38 degrees Celsius (via temperature measurement in the armpit). The dose must be adjusted according to many things, such as the child's age and weight.

2. Make sure children drink

This is done to prevent dehydration. In infants, give breast milk or formula. For older children, you can give them juice, popsicles, or soup.

3. Remove mucus

One option is to drip saline into your child's nose, then remove the mucus with a special straw for the child's nose. You can also position the child on his stomach so that the mucus drains out.


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