Do cold and flu symptoms in kids ever differ from symptoms in adults? My husband has a cold but no fever, and my 1-year-old has a fever but no cold. Do you think they have versions of the same illness, or different illnesses altogether?
Yes, the same viral illnesses can produce different symptoms in adults than children, and symptoms may even differ somewhat from child to child.
For instance, children are much more likely to have a fever with a cold than are adults, and fevers in children are often higher than those in adults. And viruses that cause only minor cough and nasal discharge in an adult can cause severe coughing, wheezing or croup in a young child. At the same time, a virus that causes only a little fever and a poor appetite in one child may cause persistent vomiting and diarrhea in another child.
Also keep in mind that infants or young children may not be able to tell you that they have a headache, sore throat or body aches with the flu. So flu symptoms between your husband and your 1-year-old may appear different, even if they come from the same illness, because your child can’t articulate how she or he is feeling.