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. The flu can turn into a serious illness like pneumonia, which can be especially dangerous for infants and very young children.
- 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 out droplets that are infected with the virus and other children breathe them in as well as by hands, cups and other objects that have been in contact with an infected person’s mouth or nose. Young kids can still spread flu for more than 1 week after the symptoms are gone.
How is 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 them Paracetamol as directed on the package avoid NSAIDs such as ibuprofen unless prescribed by doctor.
- Do NOT give your child Aspirin it can cause Reye’s syndrome disease which can be serious
- Use warm water or saline nose drops to open the nasal passages
- For cough and sore throat, take advice from your doctor first
If your child has difficulty breathing, bring them to the hospital right away or if the fever lasts for more than 3 days.
Preventing the flu
- All children aged six to 24 months are at risk for complications from the flu, and should be given a flu shot each year if possible.
- Cocoon strategy of vaccination in the family will enhance the protection to newborn baby.
- Make sure your child washes their hands properly with soap, especially after using the bathroom, and before eating.
- Help your child to cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing