How to Protect your Child from Swine Flu

Oct 29, 2009
Children are particularly vulnerable to serious diseases, including swine flu. No wonder many parents are concerned at the first signs of flu-like symptoms. How can you tell if your child has swine flu and what can be done to protect your kid from getting swine flu?

Is it Swine Flu?

Swine flu has similar symptoms with seasonal flu and may include fever, headaches and body aches, extreme tiredness, sore throat, runny nose and cough. Specialists say that such symptoms as vomiting and diarrhea are more common for swine fu. Also it is known that swine flu is more likely to cause infection deeper in the lungs than regular flu.In many cases swine flu does not cause severe illness and the symptoms will go away in up to 6 days without complications. According to the World Health Organization, healthy children over 5 years old, who have mild symptoms, do not require antiviral treatment, unless the illness becomes worse. It is also important to note that seasonal flu can lead to the same complications as swine flu. If you think that your child might have swine fu, you should:
  1. Teach your child hygiene rules, like washing hands frequently with soap and water or using hand cleaner.

  2. Explain your child how to cough and sneeze, using his sleeve and not his hands or a tissue. If a child uses a tissue, tell him to throw it away right after the use.

  3. Have your child wear a face mask that covers the mouth and nose in the crowded places.

  4. Keep you child at home to limit the spread of infection. Make sure to separate other family members and other people in the house from the child.

  5. Avoid taking your child to public places, like daycare centers, school, public transport and others if your child has flu symptoms.

  6. Make sure your child has items for personal use, like towel, eating utensils, pillow and others and the child does not share these items with anyone else in the house.

  7. Offer your child plenty of fluids, like water, soups, juices and others to avoid dehydratation.

  8. If your child has fever and aches, you can give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).

In most cases swine flu can be treated at home and does not require medical treatment. However, your child may need to see a doctor  if he has the following symptoms:
  • Difficulties breathing and shortness of breath

  • Irritability

  • Fever and cough that becomes worse

  • Skin turning blue

  • Pain in the chest

  • Difficulties in waking up or playing and interacting with others

In this case, you will need to take your child to a doctor for immediate help as the illness scan progress quite fast.