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> Health Flu Home checklist

Home checklist: Does your child have the flu?

How will I know if my child has the flu?

If you think your child might have the flu, you can use this checklist as a first step before you call your doctor.

Flu Symptom Checklist for Families

Does your child have a sore throat, bad cough, or runny nose?

Does your child have body aches or chills?

Does your child have vomiting or diarrhea?

Does your child have a fever of 100 degrees or more?


IF YOUR CHILD has a fever AND you answered “yes” to one of the other questions above, your child might have the flu. Your child should stay home from school until you are able to consult with your health care provider.

Children with the flu should stay home. Talk with your child’s health care provider, or school nurse, about the current recommendations for returning to school after having the flu.

When should my child see a doctor?

Otherwise healthy children with mild illness usually do not need to be seen.
CALL your health care provider if your child is more ill than usual. Be alert for signs that your child is having trouble breathing or is not drinking enough fluids. Be alert for skin rashes or any signs that your child is more uncomfortable than you would expect with the flu.

Check your child for a fever (or a "temperature") at home

Checking for fever using a thermometer. PHOTO: James Gathany (CDC, 2005)Here’s how to tell using a thermometer:

  • Wash the thermometer with soap and warm water before using. Do not let your child drink anything for 15 minutes, then take the temperature.
  • Put the thermometer under your child’s tongue. Have your child close his/her lips around the thermometer and stay with your child while the thermometer is in your child’s mouth. You can hold it in place.
  • It takes about one minute to check a temperature by mouth. A digital thermometer beeps when it is ready to read. Your child’s temperature shows on the thermometer like this:
    100.2 ºF (One hundred point two)
    102 ºF (One hundred and two)

If you are unable to take your child’s temperature, you can look for these signs of fever:

  • Your child’s face may be red. Skin may be hot to touch or moist.
  • Your child may be fussy and have a headache.