Caring for Your Child with the Flu

Influenza is particularly dangerous for young children since they are at a higher risk of complications. The most effective way to protect your child from the flu is with an annual flu shot. The healthcare providers at your local hospital recommend flu vaccines for children ages six months and older. If your child does contract the flu, the team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose can help him or her feel better.

Reducing Fever

Your child will feel more comfortable if his or her fever goes down. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and avoid piling extra blankets on your child, even if he or she has the chills. You could also give your child a lukewarm sponge bath. You can check with your child’s doctor to find out if it’s safe for you to give him or her ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If so, choose a product formulated for use in children and follow the instructions carefully. Never give a child aspirin unless the pediatrician instructs you to do so.

Feeding Your Child

It’s important that children with the flu sip fluids frequently to prevent dehydration . Give your child popsicles, gelatin, water, fruit juices, and broth-based soups. Do not force your child to eat, but do offer bland foods such as crackers, oatmeal, and cream of wheat.

Knowing When to Seek Emergency Care

Know when you should bring your child to the hospital for flu symptoms or complications. If in doubt, you can always call your child’s pediatrician or the local hospital for guidance. In general, parents are advised to take their kids to the hospital if they cannot keep fluids down, may be dehydrated, appear confused or lethargic, do not respond normally, or display rapid or difficult breathing. A trip to the hospital is also advisable if a child does not feel better when the fever goes down, or if the child’s symptoms go away and then return.

For family-centered care, Regional Medical Center of San Jose staffs our Pediatric Unit with highly trained, compassionate registered nurses and pediatricians. The Emergency Room at our hospital in San Jose is always available for families affected by severe flu symptoms or complications of the flu. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse at our state-of-the-art hospital, call (888) 762-8881.

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