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Viral Syndrome In Children


What is viral syndrome?

Viral syndrome is a general term used for a viral infection that has no clear cause. Your child may have a fever, muscle aches, or vomiting. Other symptoms include a cough, chest congestion, or nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

How is viral syndrome diagnosed and treated?

Your child's healthcare provider will ask about your child's symptoms. He will also do a physical exam. An illness caused by a virus usually goes away in about 7 days without treatment. Your healthcare provider may recommend the following to manage your child's symptoms:

  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much medicine to give your child and how often to give it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • A cool-mist humidifier may help your child breathe easier if he has nasal or chest congestion.
  • Saline nose drops may help your baby if he has nasal congestion. Place a few saline drops into each nostril and then use a suction bulb to suction the mucus.

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

  • Your child has a fever for more than 4 days.
  • Your child is not getting better.
  • You child does not stop vomiting.
  • Your child does not want to drink any fluids.
  • Your child has a rash or ear pain.
  • Your child is irritable and fussy, and you cannot calm him down.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • Your child has trouble breathing or he is breathing very fast.
  • Your child complains of a stiff neck and a bad headache.
  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child has a dry mouth, cracked lips, cries without tears, or is dizzy.
  • Your child looks weak or more sleepy than usual.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.