Friday, January 29, 2016

The Cold or the Flu?

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With cold and flu season in full swing, it can be difficult to tell what's causing your child's sniffles. Here are some tips on how to protect your child from the flu, how to tell the difference between the flu and a cold, and what to do if your child does get sick.

Protecting Your Child Against the Flu
  • Get Vaccinated
  • Hand washing
  • Avoid close proximity to others who are sick
  • Encourage your child to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Clean surfaces of the house, including toys

How to tell if it's the cold or the flu
 It can be very difficult to tell the difference between the flu and a common cold. Here are some symptoms to look for to help you distinguish between the two.
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Treating the Flu
Many children get better without going to the doctors. Children who are at high risk with infections, or who are showing sever symptoms should be taken to the doctors. It is important to meet with your doctor during the first two days of symptoms to give the Antiviral drugs the best chance of working. Here are some things you can do at home to help your child's recovery go smoother.

  • Reduce your child's fever. Make sure you talk to your doctor to find out what medication would be best for your child. Remember to never give aspirin to children who might have the flu. 
  • Let your child rest, when they do have energy try activities that will still allow them to rest (reading, drawing, playing dolls or cars, etc.).
  • Give them plenty of clear fluids to help they stay hydrated.
  • If your child doesn't have an appetite, try giving them broth to keep them hydrated and to get them the vitamins they need.
  • Keep them home until their fever has been gone for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medication).
  • Try to keep them separated from other family members to keep the flu from spreading.

For more information visit: Healthy Children; The Center for Disease Control; Flu: A Guide for Parents

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