When Should a Flu Mean an ER Visit?

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Keep an eye out for warning signs. 

Along with the cold season comes, well, cold season. Everyone gets sick for a little while, and after a few days of fatigue and snot, everything’s more or less back to normal. Contrary to what some folks believe, however, the flu isn’t just a super-charged cold. The flu is a dangerous virus, not just because of its effects, but because of its seemingly random intensity. Some flus can be overcome a single day, while others can ravage someone for a week.  

Children, especially, need to be kept under careful observation while they have a flu. Usually, plenty of rest and some hearty soup will work fine, but there are times when a flu-infected kid needs a visit to the emergency room for quick and concise treatment. There are a few signs you need to be on the lookout for. 

  • Difficulty breathing. If the child’s lungs just can’t seem to get enough air into them, something may be wrong. Difficulty breathing can also cause panic, which may make the problem worse. 
  • Dehydration. No matter how much water they drink, it doesn’t seem to be enough to fight their fever. 
  • Intense headaches/spinal pain. Certain flu infections could attack vital body constructs directly. 
  • Delirium-inducing fever. When a fever gets too high, it can cause sudden and dramatic shifts in behavior. They need to be cooled down pronto. 

If your child exhibits more than one of these symptoms, don’t wait. Play it safe and go to the doctor.