Safe ways to relieve your young child's flu symptoms
Medications not intended for children younger than 4, expert says.
(HealthDay)—Flu season is especially bad in the United States this year, and young children with the flu tend to suffer more than others because they can't take over-the-counter medications to help relieve their symptoms.
"These medications should never be used by children under the age of 4 and only under a physician's supervision if under the age of 6," Dr. Bridget Boyd, a pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a university news release.
Unable to use medications, parents may feel helpless. But there are ways they can safely relieve their children's flu symptoms, Boyd said.
Children 3 months to 12 months old should be given warm, clear fluids such as water, apple juice and an oral electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte. Children who are 1 year old can be given a half to a full teaspoon of honey, which is a natural cough suppressant that helps thin secretions. Children older than 6 years can be given cough drops.
Children of all ages can get relief from a warm mist humidifier or exposure to steam from a shower, Boyd added.
"The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is a flu shot. The vaccine provides protection from three different strains of influenza," she said. "It is possible for you to become ill with the flu more than once a season, so just because you had the flu doesn't mean you can't get sick again."
Along with the flu shot, correct hand washing is another effective way to prevent the spread of the flu. Boyd said parents and children should:
- Wet hands with clean running water and apply soap. Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub between fingers, under rings and under fingernails.
- Continue to rub hands for 20 seconds, which is the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice. Rinse hands well under running water and dry them using a clean towel or let them air-dry.
- If it isn't possible to wash hands with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Rub it into your hands until they're dry.
Flu patients should try to cough into a tissue. If that's not possible, cough into your flexed arm at the elbow. This will help reduce the spread of flu germs.
"Remember, antibiotics do not stop or limit viral infections such as the flu," Boyd said. "If you suspect your child has the flu, talk to your pediatrician about medications that lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness."
More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about children, the flu and the flu vaccine.
Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
- Pediatrician shares why children need flu shots Oct 20, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Busting common myths about the flu vaccine Oct 09, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- No Excuses: Flu vaccination myths addressed Oct 12, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Steps you can take to protect yourself from the flu Jan 10, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
- Arm yourself against colds and flu this fall Sep 26, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Failure to use linked electronic health records may lead to biased estimates of heart attack incidence and outcome, warn researchers in a paper published in BMJ today.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Dietary advice on added sugar is damaging our health, warns a cardiologist in BMJ today. Dr. Aseem Malhotra believes that "not only has this advice been manipulated by the food industry for profit but it is actually a risk ...
Health 1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(HealthDay)—In 2008 to 2010, the prevalence of key health behaviors among U.S. adults varied, with about one in five adults current smokers and 62.1 percent overweight or obese, according to a report presented ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The overall health of Americans isn't improving much, with about six in 10 people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or ...
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
8 hours ago | 4 / 5 (4) | 0 |
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
6 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (6) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
By studying the roles two proteins, thrombospondin-1 and prosaposin, play in discouraging cancer metastasis, a trans-Atlantic research team has identified a five-amino acid fragment of prosaposin that significantly reduces ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0