Healthy Tips · Parenting Tips

Helping Your Little One Survive the Flu

When a child has the flu, some of their symptoms may include belly pain, nausea, and vomiting, a fever up to 104°F that may be accompanied with chills and shaking, a hacking cough that leads to a sore throat, headaches or whole body aches, and lethargy. For some parents, you may feel helpless when your little loved one has the flu. You want to hold them, kiss them, and tell them everything will be OK, but you also don’t want to catch the virus yourself. Below are some tips for helping your little ones survive the flu.

Keep Them Hydrated

Pushing fluids may be difficult, but you need to do it. And you can’t feel bad about it. A dehydrated child with the flu may end up hospitalized, which is the last thing any parents wants.

Stick with clear liquids, such as water, watered down juice, or flat ginger ale. If you typically don’t allow your child to drink soda, make the ginger ale sound like a special treat. Warm broth and chicken noodle soup may also help relieve some flu symptoms. Drinks that contain electrolytes are always a great option, so try some Pedialyte or Gatorade.

Limit Their Food

If a child with the flu isn’t hungry, then you shouldn’t force them to eat. However, when he or she regains an appetite, limit their options until you know their little stomachs can handle it.

We suggest sticking with the BRAT diet, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Other bland foods may work too, such as saltine crackers, broth-based soups, oranges or other citrus fruits, and popsicles.

Try avoiding sugary sweets and fatty foods. These may only make them feel worse.

Over-the-Counter Flu Medicines

Parents these days prefer natural home remedies for themselves as well as their sick children, but many herbal teas are too potent for kids. However, a home remedy may not be enough — especially with a rampant flu.

Try using some all natural over-the-counter flu medicines, such as ZarBee’s All Natural Children’s Cough Syrup, NatraBio Children’s Cold and Flu Relief, or Hyland’s Complete Cold and Flu Relief for Kids.

Keep Them Comfy and Let Them Sleep

For most people, the flu causes tiredness and sometimes even severe lethargy. Allow your child to sleep as much as possible while still preventing dehydration. Setup a quarantined area with comfy pillows and blankets, maybe a fan to help keep them cool from a high fever, or even their most favorite stuffed animals.

Once your sick little one is better, just be sure to disinfect any and everything by running it through the laundry or using a disinfecting spray.

Prevent It from Spreading

To prevent the flu from spreading throughout your home, only allow designated caregivers in the quarantined area. Other actions to take when preventing the flu from spreading include washing hands often and thoroughly, using tissues or covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, not sharing food, drinks, or eating utensils, and keeping a safe distance from everyone’s faces until everyone is healthy and your home is sanitized.

Take Them to the Hospital

OK, so you’ve done everything you can to prevent this next step, but your little one just keeps getting worse. If your child is showing any of the following symptoms, take them to the emergency room or quickly dial 911.

  • Tiredness turns into lethargy
  • Fever exceeds 104°F
  • Trouble breathing
  • They have a seizure
  • They refuse or are unable to drink and become dehydrated
  • Skin turns gray or a bluish shade
  • You see blood in their vomit or bowel movements
  • There is no improvement at all after two days

Featured Image Source: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

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