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Child Flu: What To Do When Your Child Is Sick

The flu is an infection of the respiratory tract. It’s caused by a virus that spreads easily from person to person. Flu season in the U.S. is from October all the way through May. The flu is highly contagious, so it can begin being spread from day before you experience any symptoms, and continue to be contagious until your symptoms are gone. This is about 1 week for adults, but it can be far longer for young children. When a child has the flu, it can sometimes last longer than expected, or even turn into something more serious. The article below will help you to navigate child flu, and what to do when your child is sick.

What are symptoms of child flu?

  • fever
  • chills
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • dizziness
  • loss of appetite
  • tiredness
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • weakness
  • ear pain
  • diarrhea

Symptoms may vary, and may not be as straight forward in babies. Babies may all of a sudden become fussy, so we suggest paying attention to the signs.

When does my child need medical attention the flu?

  • If they’re younger than 2-years oldchild-flu-influenza-illness-children
  • If they’re not feeding well
  • If they’re cranky and tired
  • If they’re vomiting and has diarrhea, or is dehydrated
  • If they have a fever that lasts more than 3 to 4 days
  • If they have a cough that won’t go away
  • If they have trouble breathing
  • If they have a stiff neck
  • If they have flu symptoms and a fever that won’t go away
  • If they haven’t urinated in 8-hours
  • If their urine is dark yellow/orange-ish
  • If they have a rash

These symptoms may be an indication that your child’s flu has turned into something more serious, and may need immediate medical attention.

How can I treat my child’s flu at home?

  1. Combat dehydration: You’ll know your child is dehydrated if their urine is a dark yellow or orange-ish color. We suggest drinking plenty of water, but there are a lot of other fluids that will ensure long-lasting hydration as well if they won’t drink plain water. If your child is still a baby feeding on breast milk or formula, try feeding more often in smaller quantities. For toddlers and young children try Pedialyte, water, juice, sports drinks with electrolytes, and ice pops.
  2. Rest up: Enough said here. Your child will need plenty of rest in order to beat the flu.
  3. Treat congestion: Try removing excess mucus with a bulb or nasal syringe ( and good luck;). Older children will be able to blow their nose. Do not give children under 6- years old cold or cough medicine unless directed by your doctor.
  4. Treat a sore, stuffy nose and throat: Try a humidifier in their bedroom.
  5. Treat muscle aches, headaches, or slight fever: Try giving your child a warm bath, and giving them Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin. Do not give children under 6-months of age Ibuprofen.

Prevention of child’s flu is key

Of course, the best way to beat child’s flu is to not get it in the first place! Ensure prevention of the flu by getting a flu shot for children 6-months and older. Stop in today!

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If you or your child is developing flu like symptoms you can walk right into our urgent care center, no appointment necessary, at 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT 06119-1801. At AFC Urgent Care West Hartford, we are open 7 days a week and ready to treat you. You can save time by checking in online and we accept most insurances.