By: Jennifer Lavallee, APRN- Merrimack Pediatrics
As a parent, keeping your child healthy is a top priority. With flu season upon us, it’s crucial to be well-prepared. In this article, we’ll cover the signs and symptoms of the flu in children, steps to take if they get sick, prevention tips, as well as emergency signs to watch out for in both children and infants.
Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of the Flu
Flu symptoms in children often resemble those in adults but can be more severe. Watch out for these common signs:
- Body Aches
- Chills and Sweating
Steps to Take if Your Child Gets the Flu
If your child displays flu symptoms, you can lessen the length of illness and avoid the spread if you follow a few simple steps. First, keep them home from school or daycare. Then, ensure they get plenty of rest and drink fluids to stay hydrated. If necessary, acetaminophen or ibuprofen (as directed by your healthcare provider or the packaging) can help reduce fever and ease discomfort. In some cases, a healthcare provider may prescribe antiviral drugs, especially if symptoms are severe. In general, keep a close eye on their symptoms, and seek medical attention if they worsen or if they have underlying health conditions.
When to Seek Medical Attention for the Flu
In some cases, the flu can lead to severe complications. Keep an eye out for these emergency signs:
1. Fast Breathing or Difficulty Breathing: If your child is breathing rapidly or struggling to breathe, seek immediate medical attention.
2. Bluish Skin: Bluish lips, face, or extremities can be a sign of oxygen deprivation. Seek immediate medical attention.
3. Severe Dehydration: If your child is not drinking enough and shows signs of severe dehydration (dry mouth, no tears when crying), contact your healthcare provider.
1. Difficulty Breathing: If your infant is breathing rapidly, grunting with each breath, or flaring their nostrils, seek immediate medical attention.
2. Poor Feeding and Severe Dehydration: If your child is not drinking enough and shows signs of severe dehydration (dry mouth, no tears when crying), contact your healthcare provider.
3. Lethargy: If your baby is unusually sleepy and unresponsive, seek immediate medical attention.
Remember, early intervention is crucial when it comes to the flu. Keep your child vaccinated, practice good hygiene, and stay informed about emergency signs. If in doubt, consult a healthcare professional for guidance tailored to your child’s specific needs. Your vigilance can help keep your little one healthy during flu season.