Caring for a Child with the Flu

Flu season in childrenThis flu season has been tough, particularly on children, so much that the Centers for Disease Control has called the 2017-2018 season a flu epidemic. While that sounds scary, many parents are likely to be forced to nurse a child with the flu this year.

Most cases of flu can be treated at home with rest, fluids and acetaminophen. Read about in-home flu treatment from our sister pediatrics facility, The Youth Clinic of Northern Colorado.

If you visit a doctor within 24 hours of your child’s first symptoms, she may be able to be treated with antiviral medications that lessen its duration and severity, so recognizing symptoms early is essential for a quick recovery.

Not all cases of the flu will be treatable at home. The CDC reports that 22.7 people per 10,000 have been hospitalized for flu this season, and the virus has claimed the lives of at least 30 children, so seeking treatment should always be an option.

Pediatric Urgent Care of Northern Colorado can provide after-hours access to antiviral medicines and is the affordable alternative to emergency room care with moderate flu symptoms, such as aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, fatigue or sore throat.

Infants or children with a depressed immune system should seek treatment from an emergency room, as with anyone suffering from chest pain, respiratory distress or sudden dizziness.

The 2017-2018 season has been particularly bad this year. It’s the first flu season where flu activity has been high in all regions of the country, including Colorado. Healthcare professionals have seen two strains of flu, H3N2 and H1N1, in circulation this year, and the H3 strains have been the cause of severe flu seasons in the past.

While contracting the flu isn’t ever an enjoyable experience, most children who contract either strain will return to health after several days of rest and home care.