Children are actually common carriers of the flu virus and they spread it quickly and often. Because kids will be kids, hygiene practices (such as washing their hands, or coughing and sneezing on each other), are often back- burnered, and so the flu spreads rapidly among kids, especially in settings such as schools and after school activities. So when you find that your child’s flu symptoms are not going away, here are 5 steps to treat your child’s flu:
Step 1: Keep your child hydrated
You will need to keep your child very hydrated through their illness if they are going to have any chance to beat it. Make sure that the fluids they ingest include water, juices (preferably freshly juiced for extra antioxidants), sports drinks and waters with electrolytes, or Pedialyte. Avoid carbonated drinks whenever possible, as they do not hydrate in the way that the other listed fluids do. Also try to avoid caffeinated liquids, as they will tend to dehydrate your child.
Step 2: Treat Congestion
Congestion is a big problem, especially with younger kids who tend to avoid blowing their nose like the plague. In children 4-years and younger you may need to suction out any extra mucus that is clogging their nasal passages. First try giving them a warm bath in a steamy room to loosen up the mucus, then suction the blockage with a bulb or nasal syringe. Good luck, sometimes this can be tough;)
Do not give children under 6 years old cold or cough medicine unless directed by your doctor.
Treat Other Symptoms: Along with congestion, your child may be experiencing many other symptoms. Two of the most common is muscle soreness and headaches. Try giving them a warm bath, and giving them Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin. This will help relieve the soreness in their muscles, nose, and throat, which may even lead to a better night’s sleep.
Do not give children under 6-months ibuprofen
Step 4: Rest and prevention
Just as with adults with flu, your child is going to be exhausted. Rest is one of the most valuable things that your child can have when sick, and the more rest they have the quicker they will beat the flu, so make sure that they are comfortable enough to get the rest they need. Prevention of course is key, so be sure to get your child the flu shot if they are older than 6-months.
Step 5: Know when to call the doctor
As a parent, of course you want to to help your child through this illness, but it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms:
- has diarrhea
- has a lingering cough
- has a stiff neck
- has not urinated in 8 hours
- is urinating a deep yellow/orange color
- forming a rash
- younger than 2-years old
At AFC Urgent Care Vernon you can walk right in, no appointment necessary, to our walk-in urgent care center. We are located at 179 Talcottville Road, Vernon, CT . We are open 7 days a week and are ready to treat you. We accept most insurances.