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What to Do if You Get the Flu

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Lots of people get the flu, but what do you do? Here are some tips:

  • Drink lots of fluids. Juice, water, and soup are great ways to get fluids in. But avoid caffeinated drinks, which won’t hydrate you as well.
  • Get plenty of sleep. If you can't sleep anymore, keep resting. Listen to music, watch a movie, or read a book or magazine.
  • If you're feeling achy, ask your parent for some medicine. But avoid aspirin because it can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome (say: RY SIN-drome).
  • Wear layers. You might be cold one minute and hot the next, so if you wear plenty of layers you can pull your favorite sweatshirt on and off.
  • Wash your hands! You don't want to spread the germs that cause the flu. Also, don't share cups and eating utensils, like forks and spoons, with anyone.

Most of the time you will get better in about a week, but it's important to let your parents know if you have trouble breathing, your muscles really hurt, you feel confused, or if you start feeling worse at any time. These could be signs that you need to see your doctor again.

And next time, get the flu vaccine so that you're less likely to get the flu!

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: September 2013

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995–2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

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