No parent wants to see their child unwell, but unfortunately, illness happens from time to time. The flu is a common viral infection that can affect people of all ages and cause symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, chills, headaches, and congestion. Having a child contract the flu can be an extremely distressing time for any parent. While the symptoms can be upsetting, the majority of children make a quick and full recovery. With this in mind, here is everything you need to know about helping your child recover from the flu:
How do I know if my child has the flu?
The common cold and the flu are both caused by viruses and can present similar symptoms. The major difference between the cold and the flu is how fast your child develops symptoms and how serious they are. Often, a cold appears slowly over a few days and causes symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, and fatigue. Whereas, the flu typically appears suddenly and is more serious with additional symptoms such as diarrhea and nausea. Also, fever is generally always present with the flu, while it does not always occur with a cold.
You can check whether your child has a fever by using a reliable digital thermometer. According to advice on kidshealth.org, an oral reading above 100°F indicates that a fever is present.
How do I treat the flu?
Often, the flu does not require any medical treatment and will clear up by itself with adequate bed rest. In some cases, your doctor can prescribe an antiviral medication, but this will only shorten the recovery period by a few days. While the symptoms of the flu often don’t require treatment, you should be aware that some children are at risk of developing health complications from the flu such as pneumonia. If your child is under the age of 5, suffers from asthma, or has a weakened immune system, then you should always contact your GP for medical advice.
How can I help my child?
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make your child more comfortable and aid their recovery. This includes:
- Offering plenty of liquids – Make sure that your child is getting enough fluids. There are also IV hydration therapies available to ensure that your child is properly hydrated. Reset IV flu recovery is an innovative new treatment that can help your child return to full health quickly.
- Encouraging your child to rest – Get your child comfortable in bed or on the sofa. Provide them with plenty of toys, books, and films to keep them relaxed and entertained.
- Dressing your child in layers – Choose clothing that can easily be removed and added whenever your child gets too hot or cold.
When can my child go back to school?
The flu is highly contagious, so you must keep your child at home until they are completely better. Your child should not return to school until their symptoms have resolved and they have been fever-free for a minimum of 24 hours. Speak to your doctor for advice if you’re unsure whether you should allow your child to return to school or other daily activities.