The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.
Telling the difference between cold and flu
|Appears quickly within a few hours||Appears gradually|
|Affects more than just your nose and throat||Affects mainly your nose and throat|
|Makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal||Makes you feel unwell, but you're OK to carry on as normal|
How to treat flu yourself
To help you get better more quickly:
- rest and sleep
- keep warm
- take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your tempature and treat aches and pains
- drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)
A pharmacist can help with flu
A pharmacist can give treatment advice and recommend flu remedies.
Be careful not to use flu remedies if you're taking paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets as it's easy to take more than the recommended dose.
- you're worried about your baby's or child's symptoms
- you're 65 or over
- you're pregnant
- you have a long-term medical condition - for example, diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
- you have a weekended immune system - for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV
- your symptoms don't improve after 7 days
GPs don't recommend antibiotics for flu because they won't relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.
How to avoid spreading the flu
Flu is very infectious and easily spread to other people. You're more likely to give it to others in the first 5 days.
Flu is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.
To reduce the risk of spreading flu:
- wash you hands often with warm water and soap
- use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
- bin used tissues as quickly as possible
How to prevent flu
The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others.
It's more effective to get the vaccine before the start of the flu season (Dec to Mar)
Find out if you're eligible for the free NHS flu vaccine
Want to know more?
You can read our online Flu Comic.pdf which was created with local charity SPARC
You can also access a Flu Easy Read.pdf booklet,