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Child has cold, cough, fever, bloodshot and painful eye. Given calpol. Are these flu symptoms?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 14812 Questions
My 5 year old son has had a cold for a few days and a cough but woke screaming last night saying that his eyes hurt. He had a very high fever and I gave him Calpol. He felt better but is now feeling very hot again, his eyes are bloodshot and he says his eyes and head hurt. He won't eat any supper. Do you think it just flu?
Posted Thu, 14 Feb 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 50 minutes later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

I am sorry that your son is unwell.

Fever, headache, peri-orbital pain (painful eyes), poor appetite, muscle and joint pain are common symptoms of the flu virus. They can also occur as a part of other viral syndromes such as dengue, if this is an issue where you live , then this is also a possibility.

Treatment for influenza and dengue is both primarily symptomatic.
As you were correctly doing, give him calpol which help with fever and any pain. Make sure that he is receiving enough, it is common to underestimate the weight of a child, he would need 15mg per each kg for each dose. So for example at 20 kg, he would need 300mg.
Don't worry about the eating, he needs to drink to prevent dehydration, when he feels better he will start to eat again.
Give him cool or cold liquids they will help to cool him down. He doesn't have to drink alot at one time, but needs to drink consistently. This cool fluid will help with the fever, keep hydrated and reduce the viscosity of any secretions (nasal or chest) that he may have.
Dress him as coolly as possible.
Tepid sponge him and also try fan therapy if he remains very hot.

Small children ,like your son, may need a little extra help sometimes to get over these illnesses so it would be best to have him assessed as soon as you can.
It is more than likely just the flu and he will do fine but it is best to have him checked to determine if he needs any additional medication.

i hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child has cold, cough, fever, bloodshot and painful eye. Given calpol. Are these flu symptoms? 4 minutes later
Thank you so much! Your answer is very reassuring. I will take him to his paediatrician tomorrow. Kind regards, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 6 minutes later
I wish the both of you the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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