Children are more vulnerable to flu viruses; their immune system is less well developed. So it’s important for the parents of small children with flu symptoms to contact a doctor immediately. Special measures are necessary to protect and take care of children.
Symptoms of flu in children
The symptoms of flu in older children (over 5) are similar to those in adults. But infants with flu may display quite different symptoms, for example acute intestinal problems or only a fever. Infants can also suffer more serious and protracted complications such as pneumonia.
Care at home
Unless the course of the illness necessitates hospitalisation, you should take care of sick children at home according to the doctor’s instructions, and if necessary with the help of a children’s nurse or midwife.
Do not give aspirin to children with the flu, as it can potentially lead to serious complications (Reye’s syndrome). Don’t give them any other medicines without consulting the doctor first.
Surgical masks are designed for adults, and are not suitable for infants. But people who come into close contact with sick infants should wear a mask. You should follow all the other hygiene precautions, particularly washing your hands.
Antiviral drugs (e.g. Tamiflu®)
Antiviral drugs are also available in children’s doses and can be prescribed by the child’s doctor if necessary.
Last modification 22.04.2020
Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Prevention and Healthcare Provision Directorate
Communicable Diseases Division
Tel. +41 58 463 87 06