January 29, 2016

Helpful Tips If Your Child Has the Flu

Here are 6 helpful tips if your child has the flu.  Children younger than 5 years old are among those who are at a high risk for serious complications when the flu hits.  If symptoms are reported within the first 2 days of the illness, your doctor might prescribe an antiviral medicine, but that only shortens the course of infection by about 2 days.  What can you do to help ease the symptoms?

  1. Offer plenty of fluids (fever, which is common with the flu, can lead to dehydration). If your child is tired of drinking plain water, try ice pops, icy drinks mixed in a blender, and soft fruits (like melons or grapes).
  2. Encourage your child to rest in bed or on the couch with a supply of magazines, books, quiet music, and perhaps a favorite movie.
  3. Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for aches and pains as directed by your doctor (but do not give aspirin unless your doctor directs you to do so, as it has been linked to a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome).
  4. Dress your child in layers so you can add and remove layers during bouts of chills or fever.
  5. Ask a close relative or faraway friend to call and help lift your child’s spirits.
  6. Take care of yourself and the other people in your family!  Check with your physician about a flu vaccine. Also, wash your hands well and often, especially after picking up used tissues.

 

Read more at KidsHealth.org  Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD