Five Tips For Helping Your Family Recover from the Flu
Getting sick is no fun. Especially when it is the flu. Especially when it is this year’s flu. The media is full of stories about flu outbreaks across the country. If you are as concerned as much of the nation about the flu, finding out how to recover quickly or help prevent it is welcome information.
If you suspect you or someone in your home has the flu, it is time to take action. Not only for the person sick, but also preventative measures to keep the rest of the people at home healthy.
Many are aware that the flu most commonly spreads through droplets in the air containing the virus. People coughing, sneezing or even talking close to someone who is sick can transmit the illness. It can also be spread by touching something that an infected person touched and then eating, touching the eyes or mouth. Encourage kids to wash their hands properly and to cough or sneeze into their elbow.
Influenza Antiviral Medications:
The CDC is recommending that people with positive flu tests receive antiviral medication as soon as possible. The two antivirals that are approved by the FDA for children are oseltamivir and zanamivir, (Tamiflu and Relenza respectively). A third antiviral called peramivir (Rapivab) is approved for children over age two. They work by keeping the flu from reproducing in the body, which shortens the duration of the flu. It is best to take within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms and to take for five days.
The worst thing someone can do when sick is going to work or school. That is how epidemics can start, and one of the reasons schools have had to shut down this season. Rest is best. Kids can return to school 24 hours after the fever has abated.
Stay Hydrated: When the throat hurts, it can be difficult getting enough fluids, but it is essential for recovery that plenty of fluids be consumed. Electrolyte popsicles can be very soothing to a sore throat. Soups like chicken noodle is also an effective remedy. Honey is also very soothing on the throat and can help reduce coughing.
Certain vitamin supplements can help boost your immune system and reduce flu symptoms. While the research is limited on the effectiveness of supplements for fighting or preventing the flu, smaller studies have shown promising results. Here are some of the top supplements you should consider having on hand this flu season.
- Vitamin D3: Known widely for improving calcium absorption, it is also effective at helping fight off infections. Adults can take 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 and children under 25 lbs can take 1000 IU. Children 25-50 lbs can take 2000 IU and children over 50 lbs can take 3000 IU. More information on vitamin D can be found here.
- Zinc: An element important for immune function, the right amount of zinc has been proven to help combat the cold and flu. Harvard Medical School research recommends 15-25 mg of zinc per day.
- Probiotics: Most illnesses are derived in the gut, so it makes sense to keep the flora in the gut active and healthy. Probiotics help achieve this nicely and can be taken as yogurt or in pill form.
The team at Rainbow Pediatrics understand the concern many parents have regarding this year’s flu. We are here to help keep your family healthy this season. If anyone in your home has not yet had the vaccine, it is still wise to receive it. Schedule an appointment for a flu vaccine by calling (910) 486-5437.