Fort Worth, Texas,
14:38 PM

6 Tips To Help Your Child Get Through the Flu

Doc Smitty has tips to help your ailing kid

The holidays are over, but the flu season has arrived … early.

Last week, 1,118 patients were tested for the flu at Cook Children’s and 429 tested positive (380 for Flu A and another 49 for Flu B).

Get your flu shot (go ahead, it’s not too late), wash your hands, say a prayer…all the things you should do to prevent you and your family from getting the flu. The flu season is in full force and you’ll want to protect your family as much as possible.

Unfortunately, despite all your efforts… you still might get the flu.

So, now what?

Here are 6 tips for helping your child get through the flu:

1. Push fluids, fluids, fluids. Healthy kids with flu often get sick and worsen because they get dehydrated. Kids with the flu should have something to drink beside them constantly. Water, Gatorade and Pedialyte are all good options. Watch to see how much they are peeing. They should pee at least every six hours.

2. Treat your child with a fever reducer. Using acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with not only fever, but also the headache and body aches that come with the flu. Remember the goal is not dropping the number of the temperature, but making your child feel better.

3. Allow your child to rest as much as possible. This is not a time for strict adherence to screen time guidelines. Resting and taking it easy is a big part of getting through the flu.

4. Use a humidifier or steamy bathroom. Steam can help to loosen up the congestion and help your child breathe, it can also help with their cough.

5. If your kids are over 1, given them honey to help coat their throat and prevent coughing.

6. Follow your child’s chronic condition. Children with asthma should be watched closely for signs of wheezing and difficulty breathing. Children with diabetes should have their sugars monitored closely. Children with chronic conditions are more likely to need Tamiflu so call your doctor at the first sign of symptoms if you suspect flu.

I hope you all have a healthy and happy 2018 but when you do have problems, call your Cook Children’s pediatrician. We’re always here to help!

Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.

Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club  and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click to learn more. To make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.

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