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What to Do When Your Kids Have the Flu

Your child comes home from school and tells you he doesn’t feel well. He is is warm to the touch, and looks tired. There may be stuffiness and a dry cough as well. It is likely that your child is suffering from the flu, a respiratory infection which affects the nose, throat and sinuses.

Check them for symptoms. Flu symptoms include:

  • sudden high fever
  • headache
  • general overall achiness
  • fatigue and feeling weak
  • sneezing
  • coughing (a dry cough)
  • a stuffy runny nose
  • a sore throat

Generally, flu symptoms are mild but can turn severe. If your child demonstrates any of the above symptoms, then be sure they stay at home for at least the next 2-3 days. Bed rest and lots of fluids will be a big help. Any pain or fever can be treated with acetaminophen, but not aspirin. Don’t give them any cough medication if they are under the age of 6.

Children who become sick will usually have little to no appetite, and shouldn’t be encouraged to eat unless they want to. Just like us, they require lots of rest and sleep in order to fight off the flu infection and start feeling better.

Always monitor how your child is feeling. You may want to have them use a mild heating pad to reduce muscle pain or those generally achy feelings. Have them gargle with warm salt water to make their sore throat feel better. Use saline drops to soften nasal passages. Remember, never smoke around your children at any time, and especially not when they’re sick.

Occasionally, flu symptoms can go from mild to severe. Watch for certain signs:

  • an exceptionally high fever
  • difficulty breathing
  • vomiting but not eating
  • fussiness in very young children
  • skin color is turning blue
  • has trouble waking up
  • is not feeling well after 5 days and symptoms are getting worse

You’ll know how your child is progressing. If they are having a bout of sickness, you may want to try some home remedies for vomiting. Have them drink mint tea or take ginger root with a little honey to relieve the feeling of nausea. Certain other herbs such as cinnamon, cumin, or fennel seeds are also used for relieving nausea and vomiting.

Sometimes, other complications can arise from a bout with the flu. That’s why it’s always a good idea to contact Pediatrix, your North Phoenix pediatrics office with any questions you may have.

Posted in Blog on November 24th, 2015