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Swine flu (H1N1) - what to ask your doctor - child



Swine flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and (sometimes) lungs caused by the H1N1 virus.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your child’s doctor or nurse to help you take care of your child.

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor the swine flu - child; Influenza - swine - what to ask your doctor - child; H1N1 - what to ask your doctor - child


What are the symptoms of the swine flu?

  • Will my child have a fever? How high? How long will it last? Can a high fever be dangerous? Do I need to worry about my child having febrile seizures?
  • Will my child have a cough? Sore throat? Runny nose? Headache? Other symptoms? How long will these symptoms last? Will my child be tired or achy?
  • How will I know if my child has pneumonia?
  • How is the swine flu different from the regular flu or a cold?

Can other people become sick from being around my child? How can I prevent that? What should I do if I have other young children at home? How about somebody who is elderly?

When will my child start to feel better? When should I worry that their symptoms have not gone away?

What should my child eat or drink? How much? How will I know if my child is not drinking enough?

What medicines can I buy at the store to help with the symptoms?

  • Can my child take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)? How about acetaminophen (Tylenol)?
  • I have heard aspirin is not safe for children with the flu. Is that true?
  • Can my child take cold medicines?
  • Are there stronger medicines that my child’s doctor can prescribe to help the symptoms?
  • Are there vitamins or herbs that will make my child’s cold or flu go away quicker? How do I know if they are safe?

Will antibiotics make my child's symptoms go away faster? Are there other (antiviral) medicines that can make the flu go away faster?

How can I keep a child from getting a cold or the flu?

Should my child have a swine flu shot?

  • What time of year should my child get the flu shot? Does my child need one or two shots?
  • What are the risks of the swine flu shot? What are the risks for my child if they do not get a flu shot?
  • Does my child still need the regular flu shot?
  • Will a flu shot keep my child from getting colds all year long?

Does being around smokers cause my child to get the flu more easily? Can my child take vitamins or herbs to prevent the flu?

Review Date: 9/24/2009
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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