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What is the flu?

The flu is an infection of the respiratory tract, caused by the influenza virus.
The flu can sometimes be confused with a common cold, however, the symptoms are much worse and the treatment is different.
The flu is highly contagious and younger children are more susceptible to catching this virus as compared to adults.
If not treated properly, it can even lead to further medical complications in children, such as pneumonia. Cases of the flu are more rampant during the flu season, i.e. October to March.

What are the common symptoms of flu?

The flu is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs. If your child has the flu, they may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of a 100° F or higher
  • Chills
  • Sore muscles
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat and/or cough
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

How can you prevent your child from catching the flu?

To protect your child from getting the flu, you can get them vaccinated. All children above six months of age can receive the flu vaccine. Speak to your family doctor to find out more about this.

The influenza virus is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing or sneezing. It can also be picked up by touching infected surfaces and then holding your hand to your eyes, nose or mouth. Here are some simple tips you can follow to help prevent your kids from catching the flu:

  • Make sure the kids wash their hands often with an anti-bacterial hand wash or soap such as Bacter Shield. Show them how to scrub their hands properly to get rid of any pesky germs.
  • Show the kids how to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing or sneezing. If they do not have a tissue, teach them to cough or sneeze into their elbow, as coughing or sneezing into the hand can spread germs easily.
  • Teach them not to keep touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Disinfect all surfaces that could possibly spread germs.
  • Do not share personal items such as towels, cups, utensils etc.

Home remedies for the flu:

Consult your doctor right away if your child shows any signs of the flu. He/she will prescribe the correct medication.
However, here are some ways in which you can help your child feel better:

  • Your child needs complete rest while recovering.
  • Give them lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Layer their clothes as their Temperature will tend to fluctuate.
  • Give them lots of tender & loving care.