Kids, unlike adults, are prone to more illness; this is because their immune systems are in their early development phase. Hence, parents are supposed to give ultimate care to their kids and watch out for any unusual symptoms in their bodies. A particular illness both parents and kids commonly face is the clue. Here is how to protect you and your kids from flu season.
What is the flu?
The flu, otherwise known as influenza, is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs, which are all parts of the respiratory system. It usually starts as a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. Colds usually develop gradually, but the flu comes on suddenly. The flu usually goes away by itself, but some categories of people are at risk of flu complications. This category includes young children, adults above 65, people with weak immune systems, people with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, and many others.
How to know if your kid has the flu?
There are a number of symptoms that you can use to detect if your child has the flu. These symptoms include;
- Aching muscles.
- Chills and sweats.
- Dry, persistent cough.
- Shortness of breath.
- Tiredness and weakness.
- Runny or stuffy nose.
- Sore throat.
- Eye pain.
- Vomiting and diarrhea, this is more common in children than adults.
The above-listed symptoms are the most common, but there are also emergency symptoms of the flu in children. These include:
- Difficulty breathing.
- Pale, grey, or blue-course skin, lips, or nail beds — depending on the skin color.
- Chest pain.
- Severe muscle pain.
- Worsening of existing medical conditions.
Once your child exhibits any of these symptoms, you need to take him or her to a doctor immediately.
What are the suggested ways to avoid the flu?
The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated, but there are also protective measures to comply with so as to avoid it. These protective measures are humanitarian and hygienic practices, which include; washing your hands regularly, avoiding coming in contact with sick people, and covering your mouth while coughing or yawning.
The following tips will help you to avoid contracting the sickness that is the flu.
- Wash your hands frequently: Cleaning your hands is the most vital part of avoiding any form of illness. As some would say “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. An interpretation of this phrase could be the act of being clean should be taken as a religion. Washing hands takes away germs and bacteria that are harmful to the body. Therefore, all parents, teachers, and guardians should ensure children wash their hands regularly. In alternative to the use of soap and water to clean your hands, you and your children could make use of hand sanitizers, as they are mobile and easier to use.
- Do away with touching your eyes, nose and mouth: Touching these parts of your body acts as a catalyst to foreign bodies entering into the bodies of you and your child. The hand carries a lot of dirt and bacteria. Touching these vital parts of the body with a germ-filled hand allows these germs to enter and, consequently, make you ill.
- Cover your mouth and nose: You and your kids should always cover your mouths when you yawn and your noses when you sneeze. This preventive measure prohibits bacteria from entering and spreading into your body.
- Avoid close contact with sick people: This especially goes for your kids, since their immune systems are not strong enough to resist such ailments.
- Stay home when sick: Just because they are children does not mean people can’t get infected by their sickness. This is why sick kids should stay at home as well.
- Practice good hygiene: Good hygiene is the way to combat any form of illness. Maintain good cleaning hygiene by using disinfectant to wipe all surfaces at home, work, and school.
As a parent, you can decide to go overboard just to ensure the safety of your children, which is why it is advisable to also find out about the health history of a prevalent illness at the school your kids attend. You can also check the school’s child care program to see if the clinic is well equipped and provides vaccination. Parents should make sure there are provisions for primary needs within the school such as water, soap, sanitizers, wipes, tissues, and so on.
Good health is very important, and protecting you and your kids from the flu is a stepping stone to protecting your family and the people around them.