Colds and Flu, Fever and Temperature

Colds & Flu, Fever
A cold usually begins gradually; it makes you feel generally
unwell and achy, and then produces a runny or blocked
nose. After a day or two your nose runs with a clear liquid
which then becomes thick and yellow. You may also have a
sore throat, sneezing, a cough and a slight temperature.
Symptoms may last 7-14 days. A cold is a viral illness which
cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Flu - High temperature (fever), sweats, muscle aches,
cough, sore throat and headache are typical. You may also
feel sick. Even if you are young and fit flu can make you ill
enough to need to go to bed. Symptoms peak after 1-2 days,
and then gradually wear off over several days. Most people
recover completely within 1-2 weeks. Flu is a viral illness
which cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Recommended doses of Paracetamol
3 months - 1 year
1 - 5 years
6 - 12 years
Paracetamol liquid 120mg/5ml
2.5ml to 5ml every four to six hours.
5ml to 10ml every four to six hours
Paracetamol liquid 250mg/5mls
5ml to 10ml every four to six hours.
Paracetamol tablets 500mg
Two tablets every four to six hours
If you are taking other medicines, always check with your pharmacist before taking
paracetamol. Many cold and flu products already contain paracetamol. Using several
products together can be very dangerous. If you already have a cold or flu medicine in
the house, check that it has not passed its use-by date.
Do not give aspirin to children under 16 years of age.
Fever & Temperature
You can check your temperature using a thermometer or a fever strip bought from a
Symptoms and what you can do:
If you feel hot to touch
Make sure the room is not too hot
Remove outer clothes, quilts, blankets and hats
Drink plenty of fluids especially water
If the temperature is over 38ºC :
You can take paracetamol as this will help to reduce your temperature to
normal. It is important that the correct dose of paracetamol is given. (See
recommended doses overleaf)
Paracetamol will also ease your sore throat, muscle pains and headache
Important facts about paracetamol
Use it only when needed, for pain (like earache) or a high temperature
Never take or give another dose less than 4 hours after the last dose
Never take or give your child more than 4 doses in 24 hours
Paracetamol will not cure a cold or flu or cough
It is not a cough medicine
Paracetamol is dangerous in overdose
Leaflet adapted from East Lancashire PCT
The symptoms continue for more than a few days
You have flu like symptoms and have been to a country in the last year
where malaria is present
Your child is under 3 months old
and if there are any of the following symptoms:
Chest pains
Repeated vomiting
Drowsiness or confusion
Dislike of bright lights – if you need to shut your eyes and turn away from
the light.
A headache that becomes worse and worse
Stiff neck – particularly if you cannot bend your neck forward
Rash – in particular if red spots develop that do not fade away when
Has a fever with hands and feet feeling cold
Is refusing feeds or vomiting
Has a high pitched moaning cry or is whimpering
Has a dislike of being handled
Has neck retraction (holding the head back) and arching of the back
Has a blank and staring expression
Is difficult to wake
Has pale, blotchy skin
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