The signs of flu among children generally arise around 2 days after exposure to the virus. The symptoms typically last 5-7 days but can last up to 2 weeks.
What are the common signs?
The indications of the flu among children are usually the same as adults. The usual symptoms include the following:
- Diminished appetite
- Muscle or body aches
- Chest congestion
- Sore throat
- Chills and shivering
- Runny nose
- Earache in one or both ears
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Management of flu at home
A child can have the flu at home for up to 2 weeks. Even after the initial signs have settled, he/she might feel unwell and tired. Luckily, there are some measures that can be done at home.
Keeping the child comfortable
A child with the flu should be kept comfortable. Bed rest is vital thus it is best to help him/her get enough rest.
The child might alternate between feeling cold and hot, thus be ready to have blankets on and off throughout the day and night.
For a stuffed nose, saline nasal drops, or a humidifier can help. As for older children, they might be able to gargle with warm salt water to lessen the sore throat.
Over-the-counter medications can make the child feel better by lowering the fever and muscle pain. The recommended dosage must be followed. A doctor should be consulted if a cough medication is necessary.
The child with the flu might have poor appetite. Nevertheless, it is vital to take in fluids to avoid dehydration.
The child must be provided with fluids such as water, unsweetened juice or clear soup. Among toddlers and children, they can be provided with sugar-free popsicles or ice chips to suck on.