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Even Superheroes Get Sick


Is it a cold?

  • Slow onset of symptoms
  • No or mild fever
  • Mild tiredness
  • Normal appetite
  • Muscles are not achy
  • No chills
  • No headache

Is it the flu?

  • Sudden onset of symptoms
  • High fever
  • Severe tiredness
  • Lower than normal appetite
  • Achy muscles
  • Chills
  • Headache


Get a flu shot.

How to prevent colds and flu.

  • Make sure your child covers his or her mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Get a flu shot. Flu shots are usually ready in September or October.
  • Wash your and your child's hands often.

Remedies and Care

Treat the cold and flu at home.

  • Allow your child to rest.
  • Make sure he or she drinks plenty of fluids.
  • Use a suction bulb to clear your baby's nose. You can use saline nasal spray (Ocean brand nasal spray, NaSal®) before you use the suction bulb to loosen the mucus.
  • Do not give any cough or cold products to children under 4 years old.
  • For fever, you can give EITHER acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) to help your child feel better. Read the label to find out how much to give. View the dosage chart.
  • For children over one year old, use tea with honey and lemon to treat a cough or follow our recipe for honey elixir.

Honey Elixir Recipe

To make your own honey elixir at home, follow this simple recipe.

1. Mix 2 parts honey and 1 part cider vinegar.
2. Warm in microwave or on stove.
3. Sip it slowly, reheating as needed.

Cold and Flu Kit

Get your cold and flu defender kit!

Texas Children's Health Plan Members
Register for a 10-minute class to get your kit and learn how to treat your child's cold or flu at home. You must present a valid Member ID to receive a kit.

Class Locations:

  • North Houston
    The Center for Children and Women,
    700 North Sam Houston Parkway West,
    Houston, TX 77067
  • Southwest Houston
    The Center for Children and Women,
    9700 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77036

Kit contains:

  • Bulb Syringe
  • Kleenex®
  • Honey Elixir
  • Acetaminophen
  • Purell®
  • Thermometer

When to Call a Doctor

No medicines can cure a cold or the flu, including antibiotics. Most children get over the flu or a cold in a week or two without any treatment.

Don't wait for hours at the ER.

If you go to the emergency room you may wait many hours. Urgent Care Clinics can be faster.

Call your doctor right away if your child:

  • Is wheezing, short of breath, has trouble breathing, has tightness in the chest, or is breathing very fast.
  • Is lethargic, confused, or extremely tired.
  • Does not wake up easily.
  • Has symptoms that get better but then worse again.
  • Has a severe sore throat with difficulty swallowing.
  • Has signs of dehydration, such as not passing urine or not having tears when crying.
  • Cannot stop vomiting or cannot drink fluids.
  • Has blue or purplish skin color.
  • Coughs up blood or has a cough that lasts more than 3 weeks.
  • Has blurring or change in vision.
  • Has ear pain, sudden hearing loss, or discharge from the ear.
  • Is so fussy that he or she does not want to be held.

Not sure? Call the nurse line at 1-800-686-3831.

Enter to Win

Show us your superhero!

Share your best superhero pic on our Facebook or Twitter page using the hashtag #ColdAndFluHero for a chance to become the face of next year's Cold & Flu Hero Campaign!

How To Enter

Post your superhero photo and tag it using the hashtag #ColdAndFluHero