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Grayslake, IL 60030

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Posts for tag: Flu

By Mundelein Pediatrics
April 19, 2019
Category: Child's Health
Tags: Flu   Sick Child  

Your child just woke up with a runny nose, an elevated temperature and body aches. Could this just be a passing cold or could it be the flu? It’s important to be able to tell the difference between the two. A common cold is usually mild and will go away on its own without treatment but the flu often requires medical attention to prevent serious complications. While an annual flu shot can protect your child from developing the flu it’s also important to know what to look for and when to visit their pediatrician for care.

Warning Signs of the Flu

Unfortunately the common cold and the influenza viruses have a lot of the same symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine what your child might have. We know that you don’t want to worry unnecessarily and rush them into the office if you don’t need to but it’s also good to know when their condition warrants medical attention.

One difference is that a cold will come on gradually over the course of a couple of days while the flu will often attack suddenly, with symptoms showing up practically overnight. While a fever isn’t a common symptom of a cold a fever is almost always present with the flu, as well as full body achiness or weakness.

Children are also more likely to deal with diarrhea or vomiting with the flu. While symptoms of a cold are usually localized to the head, flu symptoms are more widespread.

You Suspect Your Child has the Flu. Now What?

The first step is to call your pediatrician. While it can take up to a week for your child to feel better after the flu sometimes medical attention is required. It’s especially important that you talk to your doctor if your child has flu-like symptoms and they are under the age of 5, as young children are more likely to deal with health-related complications from the flu.

You’ve talked to your doctor and you now know whether you are supposed to bring them in right away for care or whether you should continue to monitor their condition before bringing them in. At this point the most important thing you can do is help reduce their discomfort and control their symptoms. Make sure they are staying hydrated and getting as much rest as possible.

Avoid giving your child over-the-counter medications, as many of these medications aren’t safe for young children and won’t be effective for treating flu symptoms. If your child has a mild fever ask your pediatrician what over-the-counter medications could help alleviate their fever. Keep in mind: Children should never take aspirin!

The sooner you seek medical attention for the flu the better, as many antiviral medications can prevent the virus from getting worse if it’s administered within the first 48 hours. This medication is often taken for 5 to 7 days and it can help ease symptoms and speed up recovery.

The key is making sure to get your child proper medical care as soon as flu-like symptoms appear. Call your children’s doctor right away.

By Mundelein Pediatrics
November 05, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Flu   Child Care   Cold  

Cold Vs. Flu

Is it a cold or the flu? When it comes to your child's health, your pediatrician provides great information and guidance on the most common illnesses plaguing families. If you are wondering about the exact nature of your child's illness and how to treat it, learn the differences between a cold and the flu and how to treat and prevent them.

What is a cold?

A cold is an upper respiratory viral infection lasting 5 to 7 days in both adults and children alike. Generally milder in intensity and shorter in duration than influenza, a cold causes:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • A runny nose
  • Tiredness
  • Low-grade fever
The Centers for Disease Control states that most healthy children experience 8 to 10 colds by the age of two years.
 
What is the flu?
 
The flu is a much more serious viral infection. Of sudden and intense onset, the flu usually comes with:
  • High fever
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Severe headache
  • Chills
Also, the flu lasts longer and debilitates sufferers. It carries dangerous complications, particularly with young children, the elderly, asthmatics, diabetics and those with weak immune systems.
 
Treating colds and the flu
 
Treating a cold involves rest, fluids and decongestants as needed. The onset of a cold is gradual, and so is recovery. Typically, your child will not need to visit the pediatrician if he or she has a simple cold. Simple symptom relief works well. However, high and persistent fever merits a call to your child's doctor.
 
Regarding the flu, your pediatrician may do an in-office Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Test (a throat or nasal swab) to confirm the diagnosis. They may prescribe antiviral medication and instruct on how to monitor a young child's symptoms. Keep your youngster well-hydrated, and administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed.
 
If flu symptoms escalate (labored respirations, severe headache, rapid heart rate or anything that seems unusual to you), take your child to the nearest hospital ER for evaluation. Pneumonia is a frequent and life-threatening complication of influenza.
 
Prevention is the best medicine
 
Protect all members of the family with these simple measures:
  1. Eat a healthy diet.
  2. Stay well-hydrated.
  3. Avoid crowds during peak cold and flu season.
  4. Keep your child home from daycare and school if he or she is sick.
  5. Teach your child to cover his or her mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  6. Don't share food or utensils, even with family members.
  7. Vaccinate against the flu. Ask your pediatrician for your child's "shot."
Trust your pediatrician
 
They work hard to prevent acute illnesses such as colds and the flu. The doctor and professional team are great resources for prevention, healing and overall well-being for your children.
By Mundelein Pediatrics
January 20, 2016
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Flu  

What Can I Do to Keep My Child from Getting the Flu? How to avoid the flu this season.

You might be worried about your child getting the flu, and you should be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu is more dangerous to your child than a cold, but now you have some help. The caring pediatricians at Mundelein Flu SeasonPediatrics in Grayslake, Illinois are experts in helping you care for your child before, during and after flu season.

Your child is never too young to get the flu. Severe flu complications are most common in children younger than two; in fact, the CDC has stated that each year about 20,000 children under five are hospitalized from the flu. Also, the CDC reports that 140 flu-related deaths in children occurred during the last flu season. If your child has chronic issues like asthma and diabetes they are at high risk for serious flu complications.

The CDC strongly recommends every child 6 months and older be vaccinated each flu season. It’s the single most important thing you can do to protect your child from the flu. There are currently two ways to administer the flu vaccine to your child, as an injection or a nasal spray. The professionals at Mundelein Pediatrics will know which your child needs.

  • Prevention for the flu should start at home, by teaching your children to:
  • Wash their hands often with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer containing alcohol
  • Throw used tissue in the garbage
  • Don’t share personal items like toothbrushes and eating utensils
  • Avoid touching their mouth, nose or eyes
  • Cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough

As a parent, you need to wash dishes in hot water or the dishwasher and wipe down anything your child handles with a disinfectant wipe. Be sure to toss their toothbrush and get a new one after they’ve been sick.

You need to protect your child from getting the flu, so don’t delay. Bring your child in for a visit with the pediatricians at Mundelein Pediatrics in Grayslake, Illinois. You need a partner in keeping your child safe from sickness, so call today!