Influenza in Children
Children are prone to suffer a variety of diseases because their immune system, who is responsible for protecting them, is not entirely suitable because it is still producing antibodies, which will defend them over time. Probably, your child has experienced or ever do, a series of clinical manifestations that are often confused with a common cold and that you as a parent must know how to differentiate, since it often consists of other alterations that require a different protocol. In any of the cases, it is important that once you observe that your child is not completely healthy, you assist the pediatrician to determine the condition that he / she presents and what his / her treatment will be. On this occasion, the following article by overfitt.com, will talk about the symptoms of influenza in children so that you are aware of what is happening.
What is influenza
Influenza is commonly known as the flu. It is characterized as an infection caused by the influenza virus and affects the nose, throat and lungs. It starts as a mild disease that, later, will progress, leading to more serious diseases that affect the upper and lower respiratory tracts, for example pneumonia or even suffer from other complications, especially in children under 5 years .
It is a contagious disease, which is transmitted through sneezing or coughing. It is different from a common cold and starts suddenly. It is a condition that in the vast majority of people disappears by itself, however, when influenza progresses chronically, it can be very dangerous for the patient’s life.
The children who are most at risk of suffering from this pathology are children under 5 years of age, although those under 2 years of age are more likely to have complications. Likewise, adults over 60 are more likely than pregnant women or those who are recent from a birth, people with weak immune systems, obese or those with chronic diseases, such as those affecting the upper respiratory tract, diseases of the heart, diabetes or kidney disorders.
Symptoms of influenza in young children
Initially, the symptoms that occur are similar to that of a common cold, that is, it starts with sneezing, mucus and sore throat, however, it differs in that the cold progresses slowly while the flu appears suddenly and abruptly.
At the time of infection, your child may not have all the symptoms, and these are common in other conditions, so it is recommended to perform a series of medical tests to determine the correct diagnosis.
Influenza is usually a very annoying condition in which the child will feel really bad. It is important to take into account the symptoms and signs that appear to take action on the matter, since the complications that may arise are serious. The signs and symptoms of influenza in most common children are:
Fever of more than 38º.
Muscle aches, specifically, in the area of the back, arms and legs.
Mucus in the nose.
Vomiting and diarrhea (only in some children).
Advice in case of flu symptoms in children
- If you think your child has symptoms of influenza, you should indicate rest, hydrate properly and take it to the doctor, especially if it is less than 5 years. Remember that at this age is more prone to complications.
- If your child suffers from another problem such as diabetes, asthma or neurological disorders, it is important to attend a doctor as soon as possible, because the child is at higher risk of suffering certain complications.
- Vaccinate your children to avoid the spread of the influenza virus.
- Being a very contagious disease, it is important to emphasize that your family environment must be vaccinated to avoid contagion.
- Wash your hands and your children’s hands constantly, especially before eating, after coughing or sneezing.
- Teach your child that when he coughs or sneezes, he should not cover his mouth, since the virus stays in that area and when he touches another person, he can infect it.
- It constantly cleans hard surfaces with detergent and disinfectant, since the virus lives around two to eight hours, which can lead to infection.
- It is not recommended to scratch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands, as the virus can spread easily.
- If your child is going to sneeze or cough, teach him to do this on disposable towels or handkerchiefs.
Treatment of influenza in children
Influenza is one of the many diseases that can be avoided if parents are concerned about carrying out the appropriate vaccination scheme, which in this case is usually done in the first year of life. However, if your child already has influenza, there is a drug treatment, which consists of taking antiviral drugs, which are ideal to fight influenza.
These medicines prevent the virus, which is present in the child’s body, from multiplying. You can get it in different presentations such as pills, syrup or to be inhaled. It is important that the indications for these drugs are from a doctor, since they are not over-the-counter and you will need a prescription. Generally, the child should start the treatment two days after acquiring the disease and continue it for at least another 5 days.