Cold and Flu in Children

By: peterhutch

Typically, parents are told to just treat the symptoms of a cold or the flu and make their child comfortable, because these common infections are caused by viruses and there are no treatments. While symptomatic treatments are important to help your child feel better, this is not totally true anymore. There are many medications available now to help treat the flu.

The common cold, also known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection, is a contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses. Because of the great number of viruses that can cause a cold and because new cold viruses develop, the body never builds up resistance against all of them. For this reason, colds are a frequent and recurring problem. In fact, on average, preschool children have nine colds a year, those in kindergarten, 12 colds a year; and adolescents and adults, seven colds per year.

Flu symptoms are highly contagious, particularly when people share close quarters as children do in school classrooms. Flu is spread among children when a child either inhales infected droplets in the air (coughed up or sneezed by an infected person) or when the child comes in direct contact with an infected person's secretions. This can happen, for example, when they share pencils at school or play computer games and share the remotes or share utensils such as spoons and forks.

Children ages 6 months to 5 years are considered in the high risk group because they are more likely than older children to be hospitalized or develop serious complications from the flu. However, the panel believes covering all children up to age 18 will cut down dramatically on transmission among kids (who spread it most easily) and even among adults who often get the flu from their kids.

Post-infectious cough, usually without phlegm, may last for weeks to months after the flu symptoms go away and may keep a person up at night. This cough has been associated with asthma-like symptoms, and can be treated with asthma medications. Consult your doctor if you have this kind of cough.

During Cold and Flu in Children, they need to be dealt with special care. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Facts about Flu states that children are at high risk of complications and serious illness from the cold and flu. If there is cold and Flu in Children, they should be take complete rest. Call your pediatrician if the fever last more than three to four days, or if your child complains of trouble breathing, ear pain, congestion in the face or head, or a persistent cough.

Diagnosis of a cold or the flu may include a thorough medical history as well as a physical examination. It is not usually necessary to run additional tests to diagnose a cold or the flu, but these tests may help identify other conditions that may be causing the symptoms.

The best way to prevent Cold and Flu in Children is by getting an annual flu shot. The "flu shot" does not contain live virus. It is an inactivated vaccine that is given by injection. It is approved for use in anyone older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. All children aged 6 to 23 months should get a flu shot because they are at high risk of complications.

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