How do I know if my child has the flu?
Pediatricians diagnose the flu in infants and children frequently during the flu season. During your visit, a physician will examine your child, looking for these common symptoms of the flu:
- A high fever
- Hacking cough
- Scratchy throat
- Sneezing and congestion
- Headache or body aches
- Vomiting and belly pain
If your child has other health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, it’s important to call your pediatrician or visit UrgiKids as soon as your child starts to show flu symptoms. The flu can cause serious health complications, especially in children whose health is otherwise compromised.
What should I do to make my child more comfortable?
Your child should get plenty of bedrest when suffering from the flu. Hydration is important — keep kid-friendly fluids handy and make sure your child drinks frequently. Use a wet washcloth with lukewarm water to sponge your child’s face and body, but don’t use cold water or ice.
Unlike adults, kids may vomit when they have the flu, so watch for dehydration. If your baby has dry diapers or an older child isn’t drinking well and seems listless, but your pediatrician’s office is closed, bring your child to UrgiKids so that a doctor or nurse can treat him right away.
What medications should I give my child for fever and aches?
Follow your pediatrician’s advice for using children’s versions of ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help fever and aches.
Even though the flu has many symptoms, do not give over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to children age six or younger. Always talk to your child’s pediatrician about which medications are appropriate for your child. If you visit UrgiKids when your child has the flu, the pediatricians will advise you about which medicines to use.
How can I help my child avoid the flu?
Teach children not to rub their eyes, nose, or mouth with their hands. Show them how to sneeze or cough into their elbow, and stress the importance of washing their hands with warm water and soap. The flu vaccine is also recommended for all children.
If my child gets the flu, is there a prescription medication that helps?
Because the flu is a virus, and antibiotics only work to treat bacteria, antibiotics do not work to treat the flu. However, in severe cases, antiviral medications can help if administered during the first two days of illness.