When Junior Gets the Flu

The flu season is just around the corner. Here’s what you need to know if your little one catches the bug.


What should you do if junior gets the flu? Although fever from flu can last up to three to four days, the body may take up to 10 to 14 days to fully recover from the symptoms. Antibiotics are not useful in getting rid of the influenza virus and are only helpful should there be a suspected superimposed bacterial infection, explains Dr Michael Wong, deputy medical director, Raffles Medical.

Treating the symptoms of influenza can help your child feel better while awaiting the body to develop antibodies to fight the virus. While waiting for an appointment to see a doctor:

1) Make sure your child gets plenty of rest

2) Encourage your child to take plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. A well-hydrated child should pass urine every three to five hours and the colour of the urine would be light yellow to nearly colourless

3) Paracetamol can be given every six to eight hours to relieve fever, headache, and muscle aches. Aspirin and medicines that include aspirin are not recommended for children under 18 because the use of aspirin in influenza can lead to a serious disease called Reye syndrome

4) Over-the-counter cough and cold medications may sometimes be helpful to relieve symptoms in older children. However, these are best avoided in children less than two

5) If your child is less than two years old or has underlying chronic medical problems, it would be best to consult a doctor early for an assessment. Where required, the doctor would prescribe antiviral medication to help reduce the severity of symptoms and promote recovery. Antiviral medications are most effective when taken within the first 48 hours of the illness.

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