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Cold and Flu

Nosebleed and Flu Symptoms

12/18/2008

Question:

My 4 year old son came down with a cold or the flu 5 days ago and it seemed to clear up fine within 3 days. Today when I went to pick up his room, I found a stain on his pillow that looked like watery blood. He has been listless and not hungry. I picked him up from school and he has a 101.4 underarm temp and complains that his chest hurts. I asked if it hurt when he breathes and he said yes. His nose was crusted around the right nostril with dried blood although his teacher did not mention a nosebleed. He is really sensitive and cried when I picked him up and is moving very stiffly. Should I just give him Motrin and keep an eye on him or do these symptoms sound serious and he needs to see his physician ASAP? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Answer:

Please note, NetWellness is not an emergency service.

The flu is an upper respiratory illness characterized by sudden onset of high fever (102-106 degrees F), headache, chills, cough, sore throat, extremity and back pain. In very young children vomiting, diarrhea, and croup may occur. Nose bleeds (epitaxis) is very common with influenza, and often seen with the common cold. By the history you give, I am suspicious that all of your son's symptoms are related to the the flu, however, your pediatric health care provider can perform (or order) a simple outpatient test to confirm. A follow-up visit with this care provider may put your mind at ease.

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Response by:

Sarah Sauntry, RN, MS, CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati