Kids and the Flu: Little Bodies, Big Aches
Is your little child achy and feverish with the flu? The bad news: There's no pill or syrup that will cure the flu. You just need time to let your child's body fight it off naturally.
The good news: Although you can't magically make the flu go away, you can make your child more comfortable while her body fights the virus.
Tips to Ease Your Child's Fever and Aches
Some simple home remedies for children's fevers and body aches really make a difference, says Lisa M. Asta, MD, a pediatrician and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Cold compresses on a child's forehead will help soothe a kid's fever.
Lukewarm baths can also relieve a child's fever -- just don't make them too cold. If your child starts to shiver, take him out of the bath. Shivering can actually drive up a fever.
Warm compresses or warm water bottles can be soothing if your child has body ache. Make sure the water bottle is not too hot, and don't let your child fall asleep on it. Never microwave the compress or bottle. Microwaves can create hot spots than can burn a child's skin.
Massage can help with headache or body ache, Asta says. "Just rubbing your child's head or back really can make them feel better," she tells WebMD.
Moisture -- from cool humidifiers, vaporizers, or saline spray -- will help keep your child's nasal passageways moist. That won't help with aches directly, but it may help your children feel more comfortable if they're stuffed up. Clean your humidifier or vaporizer before and after you use it; otherwise they can breed bacteria and mold.
Warm liquids such as soup and herbal teas -- can keep your child hydrated, soothe sore throats, and help break up mucus in the airways.
Remember, your goal isn't just to get rid of flu symptoms. You want to make your child feel safe and cared for. "Sometimes just cuddling is the best thing you can do for a child with cold or flu," Asta says.