Friday, January 11 (HealthDay News)-The flu season is particularly bad in the United States this year, and infants with the flu are more likely to suffer than other children because they cannot take over-the-counter medications. Their symptoms.
Cough and cold remedies can cause serious side effects such as increased heart rate and cramps when taken by young children.
“Never use these medicines for children under the age of four. If you are under the age of six, use them only under the supervision of a doctor,” said Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Pediatrician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. Dr. Bridget Boyd said. In a university news release.
Parents may feel helpless because they cannot use the drug. But there are several ways to safely relieve the symptoms of flu in children, Boyd said.
Children 3 to 12 months old should be given a warm, clear liquid such as water, apple juice, and an oral electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte. A one year old child can be given half a teaspoon of honey. This is a natural cough suppressant that helps thin secretions. Cough drops can be given to children over 6 years old.
Boyd added that children of all ages can rest assured that they will be exposed to steam from warm mist humidifiers and showers.
“The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to vaccinate against the flu. The vaccine provides protection from three different strains of the flu,” she said. “Because you can get the flu more than once in a season, getting the flu doesn’t mean you won’t get sick again.”
In addition to flu shots, proper hand washing is another effective way to prevent the spread of the flu. Boyd said parents and children should do the following:
- Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Rub your hands together to create a foam and rub between your fingers, under the ring, and under your nails.
- Continue rubbing your hands for 20 seconds, which is the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Rinse your hands thoroughly with running water and dry with a clean towel or air dry.
- If you cannot wash your hands with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Rub in your hands until dry.
Patients with the flu should try to cough their tissues. If that is not possible, cough on the bent arm of the elbow. This helps reduce the spread of Haemophilus influenzae.
“Remember that antibiotics do not block or limit viral infections such as the flu,” Boyd said. “If your child seems to have the flu, talk to your pediatrician about medications that reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness.”
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Source: Loyola University Health System, News Release, January 9, 2013
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