The start of the new school year coincides with the change of seasons and the approach of winter, and it is normal for children and adults to suffer from a bout of colds or influenza at this time, and children in particular tend to be more susceptible to infection, and they can often be infected with several viruses. Every year, through a set of questions and answers, we learn about the most important differences between common winter viruses that infect children, according to the website “patient“.
Q: What are the common winter viruses that infect children?
There are many different strains of both the flu and the common cold, but they all seem to thrive during the winter months and there are usually several strains circulating at once, but the symptoms that cause are often the same.
Q: What is the difference between cold and flu symptoms?
The common cold: Cold symptoms are caused by a virus, and usually develop gradually. Symptoms include a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, coughing, loss of appetite, and irritability.
Influenza: Symptoms of influenza (flu) may be similar to a common cold, however, influenza is usually accompanied by a sudden fever. Other symptoms of influenza include aches and pains, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, as well as a dry cough, weakness, and chills.
Q: Is it possible to tell the difference between a cold and the flu in a child?
With many cold and flu viruses circulating during the winter months, it is often impossible to distinguish between the different strains of cold and flu viruses.
It is generally not important to know exactly which virus your child has, because cold and influenza viruses are treated almost the same.
With cold and flu viruses, it’s a lot to do with managing your child’s symptoms and making sure they stay hydrated with water and fluids.
Q: How can I reduce the child’s risk of winter illnesses?
Winter viruses are easily transmitted by direct contact or in the droplets we produce when we cough or sneeze.
Regular hand washing and keeping surfaces and toys clean can help reduce the risk of catching winter viruses.
It is also recommended to use disposable tissues once they are used, and to encourage your child to wash their hands after sneezing or using a tissue.
Precautions such as staying away from people with cold or flu symptoms are also advised.