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“What to Do When Your Child Has the Flu”

As parents, it’s our goal to ensure that our kids grow up happy, safe and healthy. So, when something happens that’s out of our control, it can be difficult to deal with and very distressing for both parent and child. This is how it can feel when one of our kids gets the flu. What could we have done differently? What do we do now? How do we reassure our kids that everything is going to be alright? It’s daunting to say the least. So, if you’re trying to handle this situation yourself, we thought we would put together a little guide for how to stay on top of things.

First of All, What is the Flu?

We’ve all seen the symptoms, if not experienced it ourselves. The flu, otherwise known as influenza, is a quite common infection found in the lungs, throat, or nose. As anyone who has been out in the city during flu season can likely attest to, it’s very easily transmitted from person to person, making it difficult to avoid. This is especially true for those that have jobs which require a lot of human interaction, such as school teachers and nurses.

Signs of the Flu

One of the difficult things about the flu is that it can come on slowly and shares symptoms with a wide array of other illnesses. While it’s still easy enough to work out if you have the flu, when it comes to children who haven’t experienced it before, it can be a little more difficult. I have a doctor in South Melbourne that I tend to stick with when I’m unsure about how to handle a health situation, and I suggest that anyone who is struggling to work out their child’s sickness visits their own local GP. With that said, common symptoms include:

– Fatigue

– A Dry Cough

– A Runny/Stuffy Nose

– Muscle Soreness

– A High Fever

Stomach issues, gastrointestinal discomfort, and diarrhea can also accompany these symptoms, especially in children.

What Can You Do to Help?

Once again, if you suspect that your child may have the flu, it’s important to visit your local GP as soon as possible. However, there are some things that can be done which may help to minimise some of the discomfort your child is in, such as:

– Ensuring That Your Child is Getting Enough Fluids

– Over the Counter Flu Medication (Just Remember to Check With Your Health Care Provider First)

– Making Sure That Your Child is Getting a Lot of Rest and Recuperation Time

– Avoid Sending Your Child to School, Day Care, Or Other Areas With Children Who May Get Infected

As a parent, you are required to prioritise the health of your child. With that said, you also have an obligation to avoid transmitting the flu to other children wherever possible. So, try to avoid situations where your child may come into contact with others until at least 24 hours after all symptoms have subsided.

Avoid Getting Sick Yourself

Trying to take care of a child that has the flu is a difficult task. Trying to take care of a child with the flu while YOU have the flu is near-impossible. So, while tending to the needs of your child, make sure that you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy and avoid catching the virus yourself. This will make the entire situation significantly easier, both for you and your child.

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Having a child fall ill is never easy, but just remember that the flu doesn’t mean the end of the world. Kids get sick, it’s inevitable. What’s important is knowing what to do when situations like this come up. So, speak with your local GP, read up where you can and try to stay calm. Good luck!

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