Five Signs and Symptoms of Flu in Toddlers
Created by Ambili S Kartha Updated on Dec 24, 2019
A sick child is a tough proposition for the caregivers since the child cannot tell us what the issue is and we are at a loss for why they are crying. Of the main illnesses that affect children, influenza is one of them. Influenza or the flu is a viral infection that affects the air passages of the lungs. Flu is more severe than common cold but not as severe as, say, swine flu. Healthy people, including children, usually pull through this infection without any serious complications. But in children, if not detected and if adequate measures are not taken on time, flu may lead to complications like pneumonia, which necessitates hospitalization and sometimes can even turn lethal.
What Is Flu In Child?
The flu is a kind of respiratory tract infection. We all know the respiratory tract involves the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu is caused by a virus and is more often "seasonal." It is the most common contagious viral infection of winter. Millions of people are reported to get the flu every year, and more than half of them are children. There is no cure for the flu. Antibiotics never work for the flu because the flu is a viral disease. So when it comes to the treatment of the flu in children, doctors usually treat the annoying symptoms, thereby making them more comfortable.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu In Children?
The majority of flu symptoms in children are similar to the symptoms of a common cold but in a heightened way. Children with cold normally have enough energy to play and to perform their daily routines. Children with influenza, on the other hand, are too tired and prefer to be in bed. Unlike cold, children who come out of the flu continue to feel very tired even after a couple of weeks.
Here Are 5 Typical Symptoms Of Flu In Children:
● High fever that does not get better even after taking fever medications
● Headache and severe body ache/muscle ache
● Extreme tiredness, unusually sleepy
● Runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, or dry cough
● Vomiting or diarrhea
How Can A Child Catch The Flu?
A child can catch flu through direct contact with an infected person. The virus can get in through kissing or even touching the infected person. It can also get in the child through indirect contact as well. That is, if the child touches anything like toys and surfaces touched by the infected person, he may contract the flu. This is because the virus that spreads the flu can stay on surfaces for many hours, intact.
Types Of Flu Virus:
There are four types of influenza virus. Influenza A, B, C, and D, respectively. Influenza-A virus is divided into subtypes and strains based on proteins on the surface of the virus. Influenza B, on the other hand, has no subtypes but has different strains. Influenza C usually brings about a mild respiratory illness rather than an epidemic. Influenza D viruses mainly affect cattle and are not known to cause infection among people.
How To Prevent Influenza In Children?
Due to the possible hazardous outcome, it's crucial to prevent flu in children. Here are some preventive measures:
● Keep children away from those who have a cold
● Make children wash their hands more often. Make sure they wash their hands after touching a surface in a public place and if they touch someone with a cold.
● Avoid sharing personal belongings and toys with other children, especially if they exhibit symptoms of the flu
● Sterilize toys and personal items of the child more often, especially if there is an outbreak of the Flu
Preventive measures can help to prevent flu to some extent; when it comes to more reliable precautionary measures, immunization is the most effective preventing measure of influenza in children.
Prevention should be against all four strains of the virus (two influenza A virus and two influenza B viruses).
Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine
Earlier the flu vaccine was designed against three virus strains (two influenza A and one influenza B virus). This trivalent vaccine may not protect well against the group of B viruses not included in it. Adding another B virus to the vaccine and designing a quadrivalent vaccine is intended to offer broader protection against all possible circulating flu viruses. Quadrivalent flu shots are designed for different age groups.
Even though the symptoms of the flu can be treated effectively at home, in case the child exhibits acute warning signs, it is important to seek immediate medical care to avoid complications. Also, the flu vaccine is an excellent way to protect your family from flu infection. Your doctor will help you more with this.
The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative on influenza supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.