The flu is an infectious disease caused by a virus called Influenza (there are four types of virus). It affects both adults and children (between 20 and 30% of the child population). Like other diseases caused by viruses, the flu has no treatment. All that can be offered to the patient is symptomatic treatment. When the baby or child has a fever, it is advisable to take him to the pediatrician, especially so that the flu symptoms are not complicated.
The most common flu symptoms, lasting 5 to 7 years, are cough, high fever, chills, nasal congestion, run down, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, headache and muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some In some cases, wheezing and noises may appear when breathing, known as wheezing.
- To avoid suffering from this virus, prevention is very important! Did you know that it is spread by performing simple gestures such as coughing or sneezing? It is best to cover your mouth when doing these actions. It can also be transmitted by speaking, so don't get too attached to the other person.
- Another of the most common routes of infection is by shaking hands with someone who has the flu or share objects, hence it is necessary not to take the child to kindergarten or school if he is ill. You will prevent other little ones from going through this trance!
- It is also advisable that keep good ventilation at home and that you clean and disinfect your children's toys frequently because they are a major source of viruses.
- Washing your hands regularly prevents the spread of flu and many other diseases.
- Use disposable tissues.
- And finally, stay away from the big crowds. Nobody comes out what may be there!
We tell you what you can do for your child in the event that he gets the flu.
1. Increase hydration, offering small amounts of liquids frequently. The objective is not for the child to drink a one-liter bottle of water in half an hour, but to take small sips frequently throughout the day, as this will allow a greater elimination of mucus, as well as an improvement of the general state. It is convenient that these liquids are sugary, since in the flu there is usually a loss of appetite.
2. Do not force feeding. When an adult has the flu, they are not forced to eat. In children it should not be different. Small amounts of food can be offered, but without forcing. The obligation will lead us to vomit, and vomit to jeopardize adequate hydration. A child may go without food for several days, but hydration is vital. Acute dehydration appears before malnutrition, and the lack of water in the body can be serious.
3. Symptomatic treatment of fever greater than 38ºC with paracetamol or ibuprofen, but only when the child is down, irritable or with chills due to said fever. We must not forget that fever is a defense mechanism of our body that makes the flu virus reproduce much more slowly in our body.
We must treat our children's symptoms, not treat the thermometer. Viruses are wanting us to be fever-free, because for the flu it is easier to continue the infection when our body temperature is normal. If our son is happy, he plays, jumps and smiles, do not chase him with the syringe in hand to give him the syrup. The goal is not to get rid of a fever, it is to get rid of the uncomfortable and annoying symptoms that sometimes accompany a fever.
4. In no case should acetylsalicylic acid be administered to treat flu fever, due to the risk of developing a rare but very serious syndrome.
5. Keep the headboard of the bed or crib discreetly raised so you can breathe easier. This position generally helps reduce nasal congestion.
6. Perform serum washes saline of the nostrils frequently, especially 15-30 minutes before offering food. The goal is that you can breathe through your nose with less effort while eating.
7. Increase ambient humidityEither with a hot or cold humidifier, or by placing a container of water near a heat source (stove, fireplace, or heater). Some children improve with increasing humidity in the house, but not all.
8. Never smoke in front of your child when they have the flu. In fact, never smoke in the home you share with your children.
9. Do not give any cough medicine. Coughing is another useful and necessary defense mechanism to be able to heal well from the flu. If we stop coughing, the mucus will most likely remain trapped in our lungs and the condition will get worse.
10. Also do not administer any medications known as mucolytics. Scientific evidence has not shown them to be more helpful than drinking water. Therefore, given equal effectiveness, better water.
11. Do not give or ask for antibiotics from your pediatrician. Antibiotics only work to cure infections caused by bacteria, but the flu is a virus. Only in cases of bacterial superinfection is it indicated to administer an antibiotic.
Finally, there is a medicine to treat the flu, which many of you will know by its trade name: Tamiflu®. It has limited efficacy and significant side effects, so must always be prescribed by a pediatrician and only in certain cases. Nowadays, the popular wisdom regarding the flu is still valid, and that is that it takes time to cure: 'with treatment, a week; without treatment, seven days. '
And if we want to cure the flu effectively, in addition to following these preventive measures and putting the above advice into practice, we must vaccinate children from autumn. What vaccines are there? Which people should get vaccinated? To answer all these questions, we have used the information published by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics in collaboration with the vaccine advisory committee.
- Older than 6 months and adolescents suffering from any disease (diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular diseases ...)
- Also all those people, whether they are children or elderly, who live with relatives for whom contracting the flu is putting their health and, therefore, their life at risk (the elderly or pregnant women, for example).
- Grandparents, mothers or fathers, siblings or caregivers of children under 6 months, since underage babies cannot be vaccinated.
You can read more articles similar to How to cure children's flu, in the category of Children's Diseases on site.