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Cold and Flu Time

Woman Sneezing

Print the full article here!

Colds and the Flu

You can catch a cold from someone else.

You can do things to keep from catching a cold.

You can catch the flu from someone else.

You can do things to keep from catching the flu.

If you get sick, you can do things to get better.

What are germs?

Germs make you sick.

You can’t see germs.

They are in the air.

They are on the things that you touch.

You catch a cold or flu from germs.

How do germs give you a cold or the flu?

Germs get into the air when a sick person breathes out.

Germs get on things that a sick person touches.

You can breathe germs in.

Or you can touch things that have germs and then touch your mouth or nose.

Soon you might have a cold or the flu, too.

A Cold

You can get a cold any time.

People get more colds:

  • In the fall and winter
  • When they stay inside a lot
  • When they are tired or worried
  • Colds can last 2 - 4 weeks.

What does a cold feel like?

Are you sneezing or coughing?

Do you have a scratchy or sore throat?

Do you have a runny or stuffy nose?

Do you have watery eyes?

Do you feel a little tired?

You may have a cold.

The Flu

Lots of people get the flu.

The flu is like a cold.

But it feels much worse.

You will start to feel sick.

In 3 to 6 hours you will be really sick.

What does the flu feel like?

Do you have a fever?

Does your body hurt all over?

Do you feel tired?

Does your head hurt?

Are you coughing?

Do you feel really cold?

You may have the flu.


The flu is different than a cold.

If you have the flu, you may not:

  • Sneeze
  • Have a stuffy nose
  • Have a sore throat
  • Learn more about what is a cold and what is the flu:

How can you get better if you have a cold or the flu?

Get lots of rest!

Stay home if you have a fever.

Drink a lot of water, clear soup, hot tea, and juice.

Don’t drink alcohol.

There are other ways you get better and keep others safe.

Don’t smoke.

Stay away from people who smoke.

Take a hot shower to help clear your nose.

Stay away from other people so you don’t spread your germs.

Call your doctor if:

You have a high fever (over 101)

You have a bad headache

You have bad aches and pains in your body

You have trouble breathing

You breathe faster than usual

Call your doctor if:

You feel very, very tired

You cough, but nothing comes up

You have chills and shivering

You are sick to your stomach, vomit, or have diarrhea

How to keep from getting a cold or the flu, or making others sick!

Get a flu shot (ask your doctor about it).

Wash your hands well:

  • Before eating
  • After using the bathroom
  • If you have been near a sick person
  • If you cough or sneeze
  • Find out how to wash your hands the right way:

Other ways to keep from getting sick, or making others sick:

Try not to touch your eyes, mouth, or nose unless you have just washed your hands.

Get lots of rest.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.

Turn your head away from other people if you cough or sneeze.

What if you are around people who have a cold or the flu?

Ask them to cover their faces if they need to cough or sneeze.

Wash your hands a lot!

If someone is sick, do not share their:

  • Towels
  • Food
  • Knives, forks or spoons
  • Drinking glasses, cups, bowls or plates

Try to stay away from sick people.

More About Colds and Flu

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

American Academy of Family Physicians

Cold and Flu Prevention Checklist

Cold or Flu?

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Last updated on Thu, 06/17/2010 - 12:25