Influenza (commonly known as flu) is a viral infection caused by viruses belonging to the orthomyxovirus family. These viruses change over time. Common symptoms of this highly contagious medical condition are extreme fatigue, high fever, sore throat, severe body pain, headache, stomach pain and dry cough.
Children catch the flu virus when they inhale infected droplets coughed or sneezed by an infected person or when they come in direct contact with the person’s secretions. Children with influenza may be at an increased risk of seizure, confusion and abnormal behavior.
Here is a brief overview of some effective treatments for influenza.
It is very important to remember that antibiotics are ineffective against influenza. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Ensure that the child gets an ample amount of rest. Give the child plenty of liquids. It is not advisable to use aspirin as it increases the risk of Reye’s syndrome. This medical condition can cause severe damage to the child’s brain and the liver.
Antiviral medicines like Symmetrel®, Tamiflu®, Flumadine® and Relenza® are usually used to treat children with influenza. They are effective if administered during the first two days of sickness. These medicines may shorten the duration of the medical condition and reduce the severity of its symptoms.
Children’s formulations of ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used. They reduce temperature and provide relief from pain. If you observe any negative side effects after using any of the above-mentioned medicines, report the same to the FDA by either calling them on 1-800-FDA-1088 or by visiting their website.
If the child’s skin color appears bluish or gray, you need to treat it as an emergency and consult your doctor without further delay. It is not advisable to use over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children under six years of age. They may have adverse effects on the child’s health.
If the child is very young, it is advisable to use a nasal bulb to remove mucous. Some doctors advise the use of saline nasal spray. It is a natural remedy for stuffy nose. If the child experiences difficulty in breathing even after cleaning the nose, you need to consult a physician without delay. It is always advisable to consult a certified physician if the child has chronic medical conditions like diabetes and asthma.
It is advisable to take preventive measures. The best way to prevent flu in children is to get them vaccinated.