When Feeling Bad Isn’t Just A Fluke: Family Doctor Recommendations For Treating Flu In Children

Because the flu is caused by a virus, it can be difficult to treat effectively. In fact, there is no real cure for the flu. Parents who have to watch their child mired in full blown flu misery may feel some pretty acute sympathy pains themselves. Fortunately, there is plenty your family medicine provider can do to help your child overcome the flu. Here are a few things your doctor, like one at Better Family Care Practice, may recommend to get your little one on the road to faster recovery.

Pain Relievers

Pain relievers can be very useful for the treatment of the headaches, muscle pain, and inflamed throats that often accompany the flu. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever like Children's Tylenol. The dosage is determined by your child's age and weight. Your doctor will let you know if deviations from this formula are permissible. 

In some cases, your doctor may prescribe Opioid pain relievers for your child. This is usually reserved for cases of more serious pain that the over the counter medication just can't help with. 

Antiviral Medicines

Antiviral medications are sometimes recommended by family doctors, especially if the child has only recently contracted the flu (in the initial two days of the illness.) These prescription medicines include options like Tamiflu and Relenza. Use of these antiviral medications can halt the reproduction of the flu virus, which means they have the potential to shorten the amount of time your child is sick. Your doctor will tell you the precise dosage that is right for your child, and this will also be printed on the prescription bottle.

Treatment at Home

Your family doctor may also recommend several treatments can do at home.  

  • Plenty of rest is one of the most common recommendations. Encourage as much time in bed (or on the couch) as possible so your child can start to recover. 
  • Lots of liquids is usually another recommendation from doctors who are treating children for the flu. Water is always a great way to hydrate your child, but ask your doctor about the safety of electrolyte replenishing drinks if your child is reluctant to drink water. 
  • Congestion relief via a humidifier may be recommended for children struggling with extreme congestion due to the flu. A humidifier can be used while the child sleeps or just while they rest to help them breathe more easily. 

Every case of the flu can be different, and thus every child's reaction to the flu might be a little different than that of other children. As soon as you suspect that your child is suffering from the flu, get them to your family medicine provider so a treatment plan for fast recovery can be created. You'll get recommendations like those listed above, and your doctor will likely have some additional flu survival tips for your child (and for you!)