With wearing masks and attending school from home, a lot of parents got a reprieve from flu season in the past couple of years. But the influenza virus didn’t go away during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while flu season generally doesn’t pick up until the fall, every parent should know ahead of time how to handle a flu infection at home.
As specialists in both pediatric care and flu treatment, our SmartClinic Urgent Care team can help. We have walk-in clinics open in both West Covina and Santa Clarita, California. That way, you can get convenient care whenever your family needs it. Here, we offer a guide to flu care for your child.
First, don’t panic
The flu is common and usually doesn’t require medical intervention. All of these symptoms are normal for the flu:
- Coughing and sneezing
- A sore throat
- Body aches
- Nasal congestion
- A fever below 102 degrees F
However, if your child’s fever climbs above 102 degrees and stays there, or if they have trouble breathing or their pain seems severe, don’t hesitate to come and see us. You know your child well, and anything that seems out of the ordinary warrants medical attention.
Push rest and liquids
Assuming all of your child’s symptoms seem normal for the flu, the best course of action is to get them into bed. Your child should rest there. If they can’t sleep, put on a movie or video games — but nothing too stimulating — or give them a book or magazine to read.
They probably won’t have an appetite, but dehydration is a common problem with the flu. To get around that, encourage them to drink lots of water, juice, and broth.
Make them comfortable
Layer their bed with light blankets so you or they can quickly pull them off if they get feverish or pull them on if they get the chills.
You can also give them a safe dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen for their head and body aches.
Running a humidifier can help with their cough and congestion, too.
Keep them home
Your child should go at least 24 hours without a fever before you send them back to school or day care.
Avoid it yourself
To prevent yourself and other family members from catching the flu, make sure everyone is washing or sanitizing their hands regularly. Also, wipe down anything your child touches, and wash dishes and blankets as soon as they leave your child’s sick room.
Prevent future flu illness
To protect your child and the rest of your family against future illness, talk with our team about getting the flu shot before flu season begins. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend seasonal flu shots for everyone 6 months and older. To make it easy, we offer flu shots at both of our offices.
We’re your team for prompt and effective medical services. When you need flu care or a flu shot for your child, call us to make an appointment or walk into the SmartClinic Urgent Care clinic nearest you. We have convenient locations in West Covina and Santa Clarita, California.