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Cold vs Flu Symptoms – A Handy Chart Comparison

Cold vs Flu Symptoms – A Handy Chart Comparison

cold vs flu

Last updated on April 26th, 2024 at 11:59 pm

Cold and flu season can really take a toll on families with young children. If one kid gets sick then you’re 99% guaranteed the other kid will follow within a day or two. It’s brutal!! And when you’re trying to keep track of two sick kiddos and their symptoms it can get really confusing to determine who just has a cold and who could be suffering from a more serious flu.

USHealthWorks provided Twiniversity with a side-by-side comparison of cold and flu symptoms to help you determine the severity of your child’s (or your own!) illness. Below you’ll find handy prevention tips and some myths on the flu.

Cold vs. Flu Comparison Chart

FeverRareUsually Present
AchesSlightUsual, Often Severe
ChillsUncommonFairly Common
TirednessMildModerate to Severe
Sudden SymptomsSymptoms appear graduallySymptoms can appear within 3-6 hours
CoughingHacking, productive coughDry, unproductive cough
Stuffy NoseCommonUncommon
Sore throatCommonUncommon
Chest DiscomfortMild to moderateOften severe

coldvsflu3Cold & Flu Prevention Tips

  • Wash hands: Do it thoroughly with soap and warm water. Washing hands often will help protect from flu germs.
  • Control stress level: Prolonged stress levels can affect your immune system. To manage stress, find balance between work, exercise, and personal time.
  • Get lots of rest: Make sure you are rested. Sleep deprivation may slow ability to stay alert and make you vulnerable to the flu and other viruses.
  • Cover your mouth, nose: When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue to help prevent passing the germs to those around you.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth: You can infect yourself by unknowingly touching something with flu germs and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid direct contact with sick people: Besides avoiding sick people, keep your distance from others if you are sick.

Little girl blows her noseFlu Myths

  • Flu vaccine can give me the flu: False. However, it does take 10-14 days for the vaccine to provide protection against influenza
  • Pregnant women shouldn’t get flu shot: False. Getting immunized during pregnancy protects women and infants for the first six months of life when they can’t be vaccinated.
  • Young, healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated: False. Young people can generally fend off the flu better than younger children and senior citizens, but they are still at risk.
  • If I haven’t gotten vaccinated by Christmas, there’s no point. False. While it’s better to get the vaccination before the flu season peaks, that doesn’t mean it’s not too late even in January.
  • Catching a chill by sitting near drafty window or going out in cold weather will make me get the flu. Mostly false. Getting severely chilled to the point of hypothermia can make the immune system less resilient, which may make someone more susceptible to flu. But you still have to come into contact with the flu to get the flu.

Are You a New Twin Parent?

Check out Natalie Diaz’s book:
What To Do When You’re Having Two
The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year

what to do when you're having two book

In What to Do When You’re Having Two: The Twins Survival Guide from Pregnancy Through the First Year, national twins guru and founder of Twiniversity (and twin mom herself!) Natalie Diaz provides a no-holds-barred resource about life with twins, from pregnancy and birth all the way through your duo’s first year of life.

Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two
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