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Your infant will generally make it clear if she's sick-but how do you know if she has the FLU? One great indicator of influenza is symptoms that crop up quickly and often severely. A baby who has the flu will demonstrate fever, a lethargic attitude, appear fatigued, and may have less interest in nursing. Generally, chills and respiratory symptoms-like a runny nose and dry cough-also accompany the flu virus. Many infants suffering from the flu will experience vomiting, diarrhea, and a fever above 101 degrees. Another tip-off that the flu is at play is if your baby gets sick during flu season; generally from October to March. If you've done your research and feel that your child DOES have influenza, the best treatment is rest and PLENTY of fluids. For a baby younger than four months, that just means regular nursing or bottle feeding, while an older infant can also have a little water. And if your baby is over six months old, you can introduce her to a little fruit juice. You may find that giving your baby child acetaminophen relieves some discomfort. For babies older than 6 months, ibuprofen is also effective. Of course, you should ALWAYS check in with the doctor before you give your baby medication, although you don't necessarily need to visit his or her office. Because there is NO medicine that kills the influenza virus, and because treatment is simple, a doctor may suggest that you wait. A. There are medications that can shorten the duration and severity of flu symptoms, B. but you have to be seen by a doctor to obtain this. If, however, your baby has a fever ABOVE 101 degrees, or if a fever lasts longer than three days, it's important to contact your pediatrician. Similarly, call the doctor if your baby doesn't start to feel at least a little better in three to five days. This is important because-while most bouts of flu heal harmlessly-the virus CAN lead to serious consequences, like pneumonia. In the future, help prevent the flu by keeping both your infant's and your own hands clean. Of course, you should also keep your baby away from someone you know is sick. But because contagious adults may not show any symptoms, exposure to the flu virus is still possible! For this reason, consider taking your infant to the doctor for a flu shot. In fact, the CDC recommends an annual flu shot for ALL healthy people over six months, so fight the flu by getting the whole family vaccinated!