How is influenza in children treated?
Treatment for the flu largely depends on the child’s age, general health, symptoms, and the severity of the infection. Treatment for the flu aims to provide relief and prevent the worsening of symptoms.
Here are some possible treatments for the flu:
Acetaminophen or Paracetamol. This helps with pain relief and fever management.
Cough medicine. This helps suppress coughing fits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend giving cough medicine to children who are 4 years old or younger.
Antiviral medicine. Doctors usually prescribe antiviral medicine to very ill patients. It can shorten the illness by 1 to 2 days if taken within the first 48 hours after the beginning of the flu.
Seasonal flu shots and flu vaccines. Prevention is still the best treatment for the flu. Influenza viruses adapt and evolve very quickly. Seasonal flu shots protect against the influenza viruses that are projected to be in circulation in the coming season.
Always consult your doctor before trying out new medications. Do not take two medicines with the same active ingredient, like a pain reliever or a decongestant, as it may lead to an accidental overdose.
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help you manage influenza in children?
Since most children can recover from the flu at home, consider some of these tips to prevent and manage the flu at home.
To prevent spreading or contracting the flu:
Promote good hygiene. Encourage your children to frequently wash their hands with soap and water, especially after touching a possibly infected surface, and to cover their mouths and noses with tissue when they sneeze or cough.
Avoid crowds. The flu is very contagious, so it’s best to keep your children away from those who are infected with an influenza virus. Likewise, encourage your children to stay away from other people while they are ill. Children should stay home from school and other places until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever medicine. Consult your doctor before letting your child go back to school.
Get flu vaccines. Seasonal flu shots and vaccines are the best and most effective way to avoid becoming ill and spreading the flu.
In case your child comes down with the flu, encourage your child to:
Drink lots of fluids. This prevents dehydration and replaces liquids lost in the production of mucus.
Get plenty of rest and sleep. Since a common symptom of the flu is extreme tiredness, your child should take it easy.
Wear plenty of layers that are easy to put on and remove. Children who are sick with the flu may feel hot one moment and then cold the next.
Learn more about Respiratory Health, here.