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    Cold and flu are very common among children, but not always easy to treat. Learn what the signs and symptoms of a cold and flu are so you can find quick and easy treatment solutions so the entire family can feel their best every day.

    Cold vs. Flu

    COLD

    A cold typically stays in your head—with symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose1

    Cold symptoms are generally less severe than flu symptoms1

    Cold symptoms develop over a few days and can last 7 to 10 days1,2

    BOTH

    Involve similar symptoms like cough, sore throat, and congestion1

    Are caused by a virus1

    Usually go away on their own1

    FLU

    The flu affects your entire body—with symptoms like fever, chills, muscle aches, and fatigue1

    The flu typically involves more severe symptoms1

    Flu symptoms usually come on more quickly and last less than two weeks1,3

    Cold & Flu Treatment Guidelines

    Almost everyone ages 6 months and older should get a flu shot each year. Your child can get a flu shot from your Walgreens pharmacist or Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioner (state and age restrictions apply).

    Antibiotics are not needed to treat a cold or flu as they are both caused by a virus. But some over-the-counter treatments can help your child feel better until their symptoms resolve.

    Make sure to read the directions before administering to make sure the medication matches your child's symptoms.

    It is also important to avoid duplicating ingredients when using multi-symptom cold products with several ingredients.

    And keep in mind the proper age guidelines for medications when treating your little one's cold and flu symptoms:

    • For children under 4 years:

      Consult your child's doctor before using any cold and flu medications.

    • For children ages 4 and up:

      You may use most pediatric cold and flu medications, but follow label guidelines.

    Treating Cold & Flu

    Cold and flu tend to have many of the same symptoms and can be managed with the same approaches.

    OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS

    OTC MEDICATIONS

    SYMPTOM

    • Cough
      Cough
    • Nasal Congestion
      Nasal Congestion
    • Runny Nose
      Runny Nose
    • Sore Throat
      Sore Throat

    SUGGESTED PRODUCTS

    Walgreens brand Children's Multi-Symptom Cold Liquid relieves cough and nasal congestion and helps loosen phlegm.

    Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold loosens phlegm and provides cough and nasal congestion relief.

    Dimetapp Children's Cold & Cough Liquid relieves stuffy and runny nose, sneezing, and cough.

    SUGGESTED PRODUCTS

    SYMPTOM

    Nasal Congestion
    Nasal Congestion

    SUGGESTED PRODUCT

    Children's Sudafed PE temporarily relieves nasal congestion.

    Little Remedies Saline Spray/Drops relieves nasal congestion and temporarily restores freer breathing.

    SUGGESTED PRODUCT

    SYMPTOM

    Cough
    Cough

    SUGGESTED PRODUCT

    Walgreens Children's Cough helps loosen phlegm and temporarily relieves cough.

    Delsym Cough for Children & Adults provides temporary cough relief from the common cold.

    SUGGESTED PRODUCT

    SYMPTOM

    • Fever
      Fever
    • Headache
      Headache
    • Minor aches/pains
      Minor aches/pains

    SUGGESTED PRODUCT

    Walgreens brand Children's Ibuprofen relieves minor aches and pains and reduces fever.

    Children's Tylenol relieves minor aches and pains and reduces fever.

    SUGGESTED PRODUCT

    DIY Options

    • Rest
      Rest
    • Fluids
      Fluids
    • Tissues
      Tissues
    • Thermometer
      Thermometer
    • Cool mist humidifier
      Cool mist humidifier
    • Pediatric nasal saline spray or drops
      Pediatric nasal saline spray or drops
    • Petroleum jelly for nose
      Petroleum jelly for nose
    • Pediatric bulb syringe
      Pediatric bulb syringe
    • Cough drops or sore throat lollipops
      Cough drops or sore throat lollipops
    • Books, crayons, puzzles, or other fun activities to keep your child entertained while on the mend</h5></li>
      Books, crayons, puzzles, or other fun activities to keep your child entertained while on the mend

    References:

    1. National Institutes of Health. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2014/10/cold-flu-or-allergy Accessed October 4, 2017

    2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html Accessed November 2, 2017

    3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/symptoms.htm Accessed November 2, 2017

    WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.