Medically reviewed by Cameron White, MD, MPH

Cold and flu season

When temperatures start turning colder and kids are inside and interacting with each other in greater numbers, cold and flu season inevitably follows.

You may know that cold and flu season is around the corner, but that doesn’t make it easier when you see your little one struggling with a cough and a stuffy nose. Children under the age of 5, and particularly under age 2, are at an especially high risk during cold and flu season.

Colds and flus are viral infections, so antibiotics won’t help when it comes to clearing up an infection. However, there are steps you can take to help your child feel better while their immune system battles the virus.

Offer plenty of fluids

Keep your child hydrated to help reduce cold and flu symptoms and make them feel better. Fevers can result in dehydration. Your child may not feel as thirsty as they normally would, and they may be uncomfortable when drinking, so it’s important to encourage them to drink plenty of fluids.

Dehydration can be very serious in babies, especially if they’re under 3 months old. Call your pediatrician if you suspect your baby is dehydrated. Some signs may include:

  • no tears when crying
  • dry lips
  • soft spots that seem sunken-in
  • decreased activity
  • urinating less than three to four times in 24 hours

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