If they get the flu and report symptoms within the first 2 days of the illness,
a doctor might prescribe an antiviral medicine. But these medicines usually only shorten
the course of the infection by 1 or 2 days.
How Can I Help My Child?
If your child gets the flu:
Offer plenty of liquids. Fever,
which is common with the flu, can lead to dehydration.
Offer plain water, ice pops, icy drinks mixed in a blender, and soft fruits (like
melons or grapes).
Encourage your child to rest in bed or on the couch with a supply of magazines,
books, quiet music, and perhaps a favorite movie.
or ibuprofen for
aches and pains. (Do not give aspirin unless your doctor tells you
to. It has been linked to a rare but serious illness called Reye
Dress your child in layers so you can add and remove layers during bouts of chills
Take care of yourself and the other people in your family. If you haven't already,
speak to your doctor about getting a flu
vaccine for you and other family members. It is recommended yearly for everyone
older than 6 months of age. Also, wash
your hands well and often, especially after picking up used tissues.
If your doctor prescribes medicine to ease symptoms, call the pharmacist
before you go to pick it up. When flu season is severe, some pharmacies might have
trouble keeping the medicines in stock.
Kids who are sick should stay home from school and childcare until they feel better
and have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing