How Influenza Affects Children And Babies

Flu in babies
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Flu In Babies


Babies and children below 2 years of age are at high risk of flu complications. Babies are more likely to get seriously ill when they get influenza and end up in the hospital than older children.

How Does Flu In Babies  Spread?


The virus moves through the air when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or speaks. If he breathes in, your baby may get infected. He may also get sick if he touches something that contains the virus — like a bottle, pacifier, or toy — and then touches his eyes, mouth, or nose.


How Does The Flu Affect Your Child?


Baby flu symptoms include cough, congestion, fever, and fussiness. If your child is: you should immediately call your health care provider.

  • Difficult to feed or refuse to drink
  • Is fussy or won’t smile or play over 4 hours
  • Has trouble breathing or makes a whistling (whistling) sound when breathing
  • Continued vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fever above 100.3 degrees (F) if it is less than two months old
  • No tears when she screams or hasn’t had a wet diaper in 8 hours

All of these can be signs of serious complications and should be discussed immediately with your healthcare provider.

If your child has no such severe signs but flu symptoms, call your health care provider during office hours. They may choose to see and test your child for the flu. Antiviral medicines (such as Tamiflu) may be needed to help your child minimize the chance of severe disease and complications. 

If your child gets the flu, be sure to watch for any changes and keep a close eye on him. Babies may start with a mild case of flu, but they may quickly get very sick. Call your health care provider if your child has been sick, seems to recover for a day or two, and then suddenly gets sick. This is a sign of a secondary infection that may cause bronchitis, pneumonia or other complications 


How To Prevent Flu In Babies?


Of course, it is better to prevent it all together than treating the flu. Children over 6 months of age should receive an annual flu shot to prevent the flu. Your child’s first year of vaccination will require two vaccines given 4 weeks apart. Many parents worry about the safety and effectiveness of children’s flu shots.

Many studies have been carried out and the results consistently show that the flu vaccine for children is safe and effective. There is no evidence that medical problems such as autism and ADHD are caused by flu shots (or any other vaccine). 

Babies under 6 months of age are unable to get a flu shot. There are still a number of ways to protect them from the flu, though. If mom is pregnant during the flu season, before the baby is born, she should get the flu shot. The flu vaccine is safe for use during pregnancy and up to 6 months after birth has been shown to protect the baby from flu. 

Breastfeeding is another great way to prevent flu from protecting your baby. Breast milk contains antibodies that help strengthen the immune system of your baby and provide protection during the development of your body.

Apart from the flu shot, daily precautions can help protect your baby against the flu.

  • Keep your baby away from sick people
  • Make sure everyone who cares for your baby is vaccinated
  • Cover your cough (with your elbow or tissue)
  • Frequently wash your hands.

Flu in babies is a serious disease and it can be very scary. Make sure you take the necessary steps to protect your baby from the flu and know the signs if she gets sick. Consult with her health care provider if you have concerns or questions about the health of your baby.

Treatment Of Flu In Babies:


Your child’s treatment will be suggested by the doctor and may include infant flu medicine as well as adequate rest and hydration. It can take up to 72 hours for the medicines to work. Babies aged two or under may need to be admitted to hospital.


How Long Does Flu In Babies Take To Recover?


Symptoms of flu may last for a week, but in some cases, full recovery may take up to two weeks.


How To Make Baby Comfortable?


Make sure your child is comfortable when your priority should be sick.

  • It is essential to have adequate rest so let your baby sleep whenever he or she wants to sleep. Avoid excessive excitement and ensure relaxed activities.
  • Give a lot of fluids to your baby to avoid dehydration. Soups, broths, juices, and applesauce are just a few things your baby can offer.
  • After consulting with your doctor, you can give your child pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lessen the fever.

Before giving anything to your baby to lower his temperature, check with your doctor .. Your doctor may suggest acetaminophen or ibuprofen for your infant. Don’t use aspirin because the liver disorder, called Reye’s syndrome, is rare but life-threatening.

You can easily nurture your baby back to health by being prepared with flu information and how it affects babies. Learning the symptoms of flu, giving your child adequate treatment, and taking preventative steps to ensure that flu remains calm can go a long way.

Also Read: Zika Virus In Children

Cause And Reasons Of Fever In Babies

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