What to do if you think your child has the flu

We’re within the thick of influenza season now, and so it’s pure that in the event you hear your little one begin coughing, you surprise: might this be the flu?

The flu is totally different from the widespread chilly, however it’s not at all times straightforward to inform them aside, particularly in the beginning. The flu normally comes on abruptly, and its signs can embrace fever, runny nostril, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, feeling drained, and usually simply feeling rotten. Some individuals have vomiting and/or diarrhea, too. Not everybody has all these signs, and the sickness can vary from delicate to extreme. So what do you do in the event you assume your little one may need the flu?

Name your physician

You don’t essentially want an appointment, however you must name for recommendation. Describe your little one’s signs. Based mostly on the signs, and your little one’s explicit scenario (corresponding to any medical issues they may have, or weak individuals like infants or aged dwelling with you), your physician might want you to deliver your little one in, and will need to prescribe antiviral treatment. As a result of each little one and each scenario is totally different, you must name and get recommendation that’s tailor-made to your little one and household. When you’ve accomplished that, or when you’re again dwelling with a prognosis of flu…

Top off on provides

There are some things that make getting via the flu simpler, together with:

  • acetaminophen and ibuprofen for fever and aches
  • a dependable thermometer, in the event you don’t have one
  • hand sanitizer (purchase a couple of to maintain all around the home)
  • tissues
  • fluids to maintain your little one hydrated, corresponding to clear juices, broth, oral rehydration answer (for infants), and popsicles (that are nice for sore throats, and consuming them is similar as consuming). Should you don’t have a refillable water bottle (one with a straw is nice if children are mendacity down), get a kind of too.
  • honey (in case your little one is older than a 12 months) and cough drops (in case your little one is not less than preschool age)
  • saline nostril drops
  • a humidifier, in the event you don’t have one
  • easy meals like noodle soups, rice, crackers, bread for toast.

Be certain that your little one rests

Flip off or not less than restrict the screens, as they will preserve kids awake when their physique wants them to sleep. Preserve rooms darkened, and restrict exercise. In the event that they aren’t sleeping, quiet issues like studying (or studying to them), drawing, card video games, and many others. are greatest.

Push fluids, don’t fear about meals

When kids are combating the flu, a very powerful factor is that they keep hydrated. They want a little bit of sugar and salt too, which is why juices and broths are good decisions. In the event that they solely need water, give them some crackers to get the sugar and salt — however don’t fear an excessive amount of in the event that they don’t need to eat greater than that. They are going to eat extra after they really feel higher.

Look ahead to warning indicators

Most kids climate the flu tremendous, however some kids get very sick, and there could be problems. Name your physician or go to an emergency room in case your little one has:

  • a excessive fever (102° F or larger) that gained’t come down with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or a brand new fever after your little one appeared to be getting higher
  • any bother respiratory
  • extreme ache of any variety
  • extreme sleepiness, in order that it’s laborious to wake them or preserve them awake
  • bother consuming or preserving fluids down
  • something that appears unusual or worries you (I at all times respect a father or mother’s “Spidey sense”).

Preserve your little one dwelling till they’re properly

That doesn’t essentially imply they will’t go to high school or daycare till they’re cough- or runny nose-free, however it does imply that they should be fever-free for not less than 24 hours, not coughing continually, capable of eat and drink, and have sufficient power to do no matter college or daycare entails. Not solely is that this necessary on your little one’s restoration, however it’s necessary for stopping the unfold of influenza. Which leads me to the final level…

Do your greatest to maintain others from getting sick

Apart from preserving your little one dwelling (and staying dwelling your self in the event you catch it), there are different issues you are able to do, corresponding to:

  • be sure that everybody in the home washes their arms ceaselessly (that’s the place the hand sanitizer all around the home turns out to be useful)
  • train everybody to cowl coughs and sneezes (they need to do it into their elbow, not their arms)
  • don’t share cups, utensils, towels, or throw blankets
  • wipe down surfaces and toys usually
  • discourage guests (use know-how for digital visits as an alternative)
  • be considerate about bodily contact. Some extent of contact and snuggling is a part of parenthood, however siblings could need to preserve a little bit of distance, and you may at all times blow kisses and do faux hugs as an alternative of the actual factor.

Keep in mind, too, that it’s by no means too late to get a flu shot in the event you haven’t already.

To be taught extra concerning the flu and what to do, go to flu.gov.

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