Should I worry about the flu?
The flu can turn into a serious illness like pneumonia, which can be extremely dangerous for infants and very young children.
Influenza, or flu, is an infection of the respiratory tract caused by a virus. It affects the nose, throat, lungs, and other parts of the body.
- High fever that starts suddenly
- Muscle aches and pains
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Chills or shivering
- Loss of appetite
Flu is highly contagious
Flu is very contagious and spreads when people cough or sneeze. Droplets that are infected with the virus are expelled through the mouth and nose. And children may contract the virus through inhalation or physical contact using hands, cups, and other contaminated objects. Young children can still spread the virus even after 1 week of recovery.
How is the flu treated?
- If your child is less than two months of age, seek advice from your doctor
- If your child has a fever above 38.5°C, give the little one paracetamol as directed on the package. Avoid NSAIDs such as ibuprofen unless prescribed by a doctor
- NEVER give your child aspirin it can cause Reye’s syndrome disease, a very serious disease for babies
- Use warm water or saline nose drops to enlarge the nasal passages
- For cough and sore throat, consult with your doctor first
If your child has difficulty breathing, the little one to the hospital right away or if the fever lasts more than 3 days.
Preventing the flu
- All children aged 6 to 24 months are at risk of complications from the flu and should be given a flu shot every year
- Having every family member vaccinated to reduce the chance of getting the newborn ill
- Maintain good hygiene around children and teach them to take care of themselves
- Teach your child to cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat (OB-GYN) (3 November 2020)