If they report flu 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 that are easy to add and remove 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. In a severe flu season, some pharmacies might have trouble
keeping the medicines in stock.
Kids who are sick should stay home from school and childcare until they:
have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing