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Although the flu (or influenza) usually causes symptoms that make someone feel worse than symptoms associated with a cold, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the two. 

Symptoms Guide

The answers to these questions can help determine whether a child is fighting the flu or combating a cold:

Flu vs. Colds: A Guide to Symptoms




Was the onset of illness ...



Does your child have a ...

high fever?

no (or mild) fever?

Is your child's exhaustion level



Is your child's head ...



Is your child's appetite ...



Are your child's muscles ...



Does your child have ...


no chills?

If most of your answers fell into the first category, chances are that your child has the flu. If your answers were usually in the second category, it's most likely a cold.  Don't be too quick to brush off your child's illness as just another cold. The important thing to remember is that flu symptoms can vary from child to child (and they can change as the illness progresses), so if you suspect the flu, visit the doctor. Some bacterial diseases, like strep throat or pneumonia, also can look like the flu or a cold. It's important to get medical attention immediately if your child seems to be getting worse, is having any trouble breathing, has a high fever, has a bad headache, has a sore throat, or seems confused. While even healthy children can have complications of the flu, children with certain medical conditions are at more of a risk. If you think your child might have the flu, contact your doctor.

Tips for Preventing cold and flu this winter

1.             Wash your hands
Most flu and cold viruses are spread by direct contact.  Wash you hands regularly and encourage your children to do so. If no sink is available, rub your hands together very hard for a minute or so, this will help break up most of the cold germs. Or rub a hand sanitizer onto your hands.  All cocoon centres have sanitizers for general use.

2.             Get fresh air
Regular fresh air is important for you and your children, especially in cold weather when central heating dries you out and makes your body more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses. Also, during the cold weather more people stay indoors, which means more germs are circulating in crowded, dry rooms. So muffle up well and get out walking or play in the park!

3.             Relax and get plenty of rest
Make sure to get enough sleep. Your body will be better able to fight infection if you are getting plenty of rest.

4.             Eat healthily
Eat plenty of fresh, healthy foods during the winter months to boost your immune system, especially plant foods containing phytochemicals.  Eat dark green, red and yellow vegetables and fruit daily.

5.             Drink plenty of fluids
If you are dehydrated your body will find it harder to fight infection. Water helps to flush your system, washing out poisons, as it rehydrates you. A typical adult needs approximately 8 glasses of fluids each day.  

6.             Exercise regularly
Research shows that exercise helps increase the body's natural virus killing cells.

7.             Use a tissue
Germs and viruses cling to your hands.   Muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands can result in passing along your germs to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue then throw it away immediately.


Prevention of illness or the spread of disease is a primary concern in each Cocoon Centre.  Cocoon has strict policy and procedures in place to help prevent the spread of illnesses.  All policy and procedure manuals are available in your child’s centre. Please discuss this with your centre manager if you have any questions or concerns.

Cocoon Childcare