The cold and flu season usually begins in October and lasts until March and even, if the weather does not improve, until May. The cold and viruses mean that every family suffers at least one cold in winter. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups to viruses and we must try as much as possible to protect them and prevent them from catching them.
Both colds and flu are caused by highly contagious viruses. Colds are usually milder and may affect younger children less. But the flu is usually more serious and can have more significant health consequences.
Flu usually involves fever, sore throat, muscle aches and headaches, cough or runny nose. In some cases it can even become complicated and lead to breathing difficulties or dangerous pneumonia. For the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP), vaccination is the best way to prevent Flu for children at risk.
Before our children become infected, we can prevent the disease or at least reduce the symptoms. We are going to give you some simple tips so that your children do not contract the disease or at least have a milder form.
The first tip is to wash your hands frequently. This is a good hygiene habit for the whole family to keep and helps stop the spread of germs. It is essential that they wash their hands when they come home from school and take off their shoes when they walk around the house.
A healthy diet
It is also important that our child has a healthy lifestyle as possible, to eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep. A healthy lifestyle helps to boost their immune system and keep their body strong.
Not going to school
It is also important that our child does not go to school as soon as we detect the first symptoms. He can infect his classmates and spread the virus around the school. In addition, the child will feel much worse if he/she cannot rest and the symptoms may be aggravated if he/she does not stay at home resting. The child should always be kept away from newborn babies, the elderly or people at risk for complications.
Improve the household cleaning
Another good idea is to use antibacterial products to clean surfaces. For example, they can be used to clean tables and countertops where sneezing can concentrate viruses. They should also be used on door handles, switches and toys.
When our children are already constipated or have contracted the flu, the only thing we can do is to take care of them, make them drink plenty of fluids and try to get them enough rest. We should try to avoid smoking in the house and ventilate as much as possible. If our child has the flu, we should see a doctor before giving him/her any medication. Some can be harmful for babies and small children. It is essential to go as soon as possible if our child has a high and prolonged fever, breathing difficulty, chest and ear pain or continuous vomiting.