Flu season is in full swing, and there's no question it's been brutal this year. With the flu flying through schools and homes, it seems inevitable that you or your kids will catch it (or something like it) at some point. If you have little babies, this might be concerning. How do you know it's the flu and not a cold? Here are 6 signs your baby has the flu, even if they don't have a fever, so you can figure out what's going on.
Though a fast and high fever is typically a surefire sign of the flu, there are instances where someone with the flu doesn't have a fever. But, other common signs of the flu (body aches, loss of appetite, congestion, etc.) could be present. Pediatrician Dr. Alison Mitzner tells Romper, "If there is no fever, your child can have extreme fatigue, cough, or sore throat which causes typically decreased appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. They also may have muscle aches and your baby will be quite fussy." If you're concerned your baby has the flu, you should call your pediatrician to determine next steps, particularly if your baby is under six months old.
Many of the signs of flu are similar for both children and adults, though vomiting and diarrhea are more common among children, noted the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC). Though the flu and the common cold share many of the same symptoms, "the flu typically comes on quickly and your child will have sudden onset of symptoms, unlike colds, which are more mild and come on more slowly," notes Mitzner. If your kiddo was feeling fine one day but can barely sit up the next, you might be dealing with the flu.
Here are a few other signs that your baby could have the flu, even if that thermometer is telling you otherwise.