Nurse Knowledge: Dealing with the Flu

This week my whole family has been dealing with the flu. Between three kids, my husband and myself, the toilets have seen a lot of action. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot you can do when your children are throwing up, but here are are some things that you can do for them.

Hydrate

The biggest thing you can do for your children (and yourself) when they are sick is hydrate. Give them Pediasure or water. Jarrett says that every time you throw up, you loose 70% of the liquids in your stomach. So, as long as you have a bit to drink after every time you are sick, you won’t get dehydrated.

Fever

Hopefully you have a thermometer in your home to check if your child has a fever. The easiest and quickest to use is a temporal thermometer which you just push a button and drag across you child’s forehead and it gives you a quick and accurate reading.  Your child has a fever when their temperature is above 38.0 at rest. Though a child may have a temperature of around 38 from just running around, a typical fever in a child is around 39-40 degrees Celsius or 102.2-104 degrees Fahrenheit. Fevers are the bodies natural way of fighting off infection. The important thing is to only treat them if your child is symptomatic. Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil (Ibuprofen) are the usual drugs to use to treat a fever. Which one should you use? I never know, so here is the difference between the two.

Advil is a NSAID (Non steroidal anti inflammatory drug). Which basically means it reduces inflammation in the body. This is why it is marketed for aches and pains. It also works great at getting rid of a fever. The great benefit of advil is that it works for a long time (6 hours). It is important to remember that Advil cannot be given children under the age of 2.

Tylenol is a very old medication and it works pain and fever. Fun fact! The way tylenol works is not completely understood, but it has been studied copiously and is a very safe and effective medication. Tylenol is fantastic because you can give it babies over 30 days old and above 12 pounds. If your baby is younger then 30 days old and has a fever your should bring your child into see their doctor.

Kids Over 2

For children over 2 years old, you can give your child some kids gravol to help them with the nausea. You have to make sure that they don’t throw up for fifteen minutes after getting the medicine, otherwise it won’t get into your child’s system.

Kids Under 2

Kids under two can’t take any nausea medication when they are sick. You can give them some tylenol to help them feel better though. With little ones, they can’t tell you when they’re going to throw up, so make sure you sit with them and have a bowl handy.

Lots of Love

Give your kids lots of cuddles and hugs when they are sick!

 

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