Once you’ve confirmed that your child has the flu by a visit to your doctor, you have to go home and weather the flu storm. Because it’s a virus, parents and kids will just have to wait it out. But there are some things you can do to make your child more comfortable and maybe even shorten the duration of the virus. Here are some tips.
Over-the-Counter Cold and Flu Meds
Many parents go straight for the colorful syrup or chewable tablets when their child has the flu. But experts warn that such medications are not without side effects, some of them dangerous, and that these medicines will not make the flu go away any faster or treat the actual virus.
In fact, the FDA does not recommend cough and cold medicines at all for children under the age of two, and there is concern that older children may not benefit from these medicines either. The FDA is currently looking into the potential dangers of over-the-counter flu meds.
Therefore, it might be a good idea to research the pros, cons, and risks of specific medicines before giving them to your child, and to check with your child’s doctor before administering.
Encourage your child to rest as much as possible. This may be easy, as a child with the flu may not feel like doing anything but lying around. If your child does not like to be isolated in his or her bedroom, you can set up a comfy resting place in a more social area. Try a beanbag chair, recliner, or the couch.
Aches and Pains
If your child suffers from a painful sore throat, high fever, and the aches associated with the flu, non-aspirin pain relievers designed for children can offer some relief. Make sure that your child does not pop up and start running around after the symptoms are relieved, though – children may think they are “all better” when in fact it’s just the symptoms that have been relieved.
Coughing and Blowing
Sources say to encourage nose blowing and coughing. This is to help expel mucus and keep air and nasal passages clear. For very young children and infants, you can use a nasal aspirator to clear nasal passages.
Your doctor probably told you this as a child and still does – drink plenty of fluids. If you want to give your child a boost while drinking fluids, consider vitamin-enriched drinks and fortified juice.