Sometimes as a family, you get sick together. That is exactly the case with my family this week. Hubby was the first one with the ailment. He got sick with pneumonia from staying too long in the cold weather one night. And the 3 boys followed with the flu complete with dry cough and fever. Amazingly, I didn’t catch the bug though. And I’m so thankful because if I’d get sick no one would attend to them. My 3 boys are doing a good job, although down with fever they were still their normal alert selves, were eating normally and chugged down bottles of water and juice to keep them hydrated. I wasn’t even forcing them to do that which is often the case when they are sick. So instead of hospitalization, I opted for them to just stay at home and rest and treated them with their over-the-counter meds. Instead of panicking, I observed my boys’ disposition if they’re weak or alert and because they looked okay to me; I just hit the internet for further info and tips. Otherwise, we’d be going to their doctor for check-up.
According to the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
· Children younger than 5 years old have a greater chance of having problems with the flu. Children with a long term condition such as asthma and diabetes are also more likely to have severe problems if they get the flu. If your child is younger than 5 years of age or of any age with a long term health condition (like asthma or diabetes), and develops flu-like symptoms, they are at risk for serious complications from the flu. Ask a doctor if your child should be examined.
· Most children will get better without needing to go to the doctor. Other children may have more severe illness from the flu. A child of any age with severe signs of the flu should go to the doctor.
· Antiviral drugs used to treat the flu work best when started within the first 2 days (48 hours) of getting sick. The doctor may start your child on antiviral drugs even after 48 hours from when flu signs started, especially if your child is in the hospital or has a higher chance of severe illness from the flu.
· A fever is a temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius). If you do not have a thermometer, feel your child’s face. If your child feels warmer than normal, has a flushed appearance, is sweating, or is shivering, your child may have a fever.
· If your child has a fever there are medicines that can be used to reduce the fever. Some are sold at stores (over-the-counter) and you can buy them freely. Others require a prescription from a doctor. Make sure you talk to your doctor and see what medicine your doctor recommends based on your child’s age.
· Some medicines sold in stores (over-the-counter) are approved for children to make them feel better. You should call your doctor to make sure these medicines are okay for your child. Note that you should never give aspirin to children who might have the flu.
· To reduce the spread of the flu, keep your sick child at home until at least 24 hours after the fever is gone, except to get medical care.
· Children can go back to school 24 hours after their fever is gone WITHOUT the use of medicine that lowers fever.
· While your child is sick, make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants, Pedialyte®) to make sure his or her body has the fluids it needs.
· Keep your sick child in a separate room in the house as much as possible to limit contact with healthy household members.
· Do not allow your child to share food or drinks with others.
· Try to have one person as the main caregiver for the sick child. If possible the caregiver should be someone who is not at high risk for severe flu, such as pregnant women or people with health conditions like asthma.