Is your child feeling under the weather? Here are some natural flu remedies to help her recover faster.
What can you read in this article?
- Home remedies for child fever
- Natural remedy for flu in babies
- Symptoms of flu vs. Covid-19
As parents, one thing that’s worse than getting sick is when our kids are sick. We hate seeing them struggling with a cough, stuffy nose and a fever.
And especially now when more and more people are getting sick, what used to be just a seasonal cold can lead us to worry as it can also be a symptom of a more serious, contagious disease like Covid-19.
Influenza or better known as flu is a contagious viral infection affecting the lungs, particularly the air passages. It’s one of the most common viral illnesses among children and adults during the cold months (which in the Philippines, are December to February). Children under age 2 are more likely to contract it because of their underdeveloped immune systems.
What causes flu?
Home remedies for child fever. | Image from Shutterstock
Flu is also caused by the viruses Influenza type A, B, and C. The first ones can cause widespread illness and the symptoms can be mild to severe. Meanwhile, the type C virus only causes very mild respiratory illnesses.
As a precaution against the first two influenza viruses, children and adults are encouraged to get a flu vaccine every year, as the virus mutates and we are exposed to new types of virus each year.
The virus can be passed on from one person to another through air droplets, like sneezing or coughing, or sharing utensils or glasses with an infected person. It can also land and liver for a short time on surfaces like doorknobs, toys, phones, and even countertops.
This means that your child can get a flu virus when he touches something that was touched or contaminated by an infected person, and then put his hands on his mouth (which is very common in babies), nose or eyes.
A child is more at risk for the flu if he or she is around people who have the infection (which explains why the flu usually infects two or more people in a household), has a habit of touching her face or putting her hands in her mouth when it is unclean, and has not had the flu vaccine. Children with certain underlying health conditions and a compromised immune system are more at risk for a hospital stay or severe flu infection.
Flu symptoms in children
According to the John Hopkins Medicine website, the following are the common symptoms of flu in children:
- moderate to high fever
- body aches, which may be mild or severe
- sore throat
- cough that gets worse
- fatigue or an overall feeling of tiredness
- runny or stuffy nose
In some cases, your child may also have symptoms such as:
Flu or Covid-19?
With the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant, the symptoms of the disease is almost similar to the flu symptoms mentioned above. So how do you know if you just have flu, or if you’re already infected with the Covid-19 virus?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu and Covid-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but caused by different viruses. Covid-19 is caused by a recently discovered coronavirus, while as mentioned earlier, flu is caused by influenza viruses.
CDC believes that Covid-19 seems to spread more easily than flu, and can take longer before infected people start showing symptoms, whereas a person with flu can exhibit symptoms from the first to 4th day of infection.
When it comes to symptoms, the two diseases almost have the same common symptoms such as fever, runny nose or fatigue, and they can both be very mild (asymptomatic) or severe. However, some medical experts believe that a symptom that usually distinguishes Covid-19 from flu or the seasonal cough or allergies is when the patient experiences chest pains and difficulty in breathing.
Here’s a quick guide on how to differentiate flu from Covid-19 according to Healthline:
Image from Healthline on Pinterest
There’s really no other way to determine whether your child has flu or Covid-19 other than getting tested. So as soon as you notice the symptoms mentioned above, it’s best to isolate your child (along with the caregiver) from the rest of the family and schedule an RT-PCR test to confirm whether the child has Covid-19.
If the test results come out negative, you can continue to treat your child’s flu symptoms. Meanwhile, if the results turn out to be positive for Covid-19, you can continue to isolate your child and treat the symptoms (read the parents’ guidelines on caring for a Covid-19 positive child here).
Flu treatment in kids
As flu is a viral illness, most experts recommend letting it just run its course. You can treat the symptoms by giving your child paracetamol if she has a fever, or cough and colds medicine if she is experiencing runny nose.
Of course, it is important to consult your child’s pediatrician so she can advise you on how to treat your child’s flu at home. Never give your child any medicine without the advice of her doctor. She can also recommend home remedies for cold in kids.
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Natural flu remedies to try at home
How to cure flu fast without medicine?
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, while we believe that home remedies can certainly help your child feel better and treat his symptoms, these should just be used for supportive care and not as a substitute for medical treatment and advice. When your child is feeling sick, it’s always best to consult his pediatrician to ensure that you’re giving him the best and safest care possible.
Having said that, here are some toddler flu remedies and natural remedy for babies cough and colds you can try to help your little one feel better:
- Give fluids (fruit juices, vegetable soups) to replace fluid and electrolytes lost through sweating, diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.
- Let her drink at least 10 glasses of water a day to keep lung secretions thin. Water is the best natural remedy for colds in babies 6 months and up.
- It is preferable not to administer antibiotics, as they are known to reduce immunity.
- Let her inhale Eucalyptus oil vapor.
- Let her gargle with salt water (1 tsp. salt in 1 pint of warm water) to help relieve the sore throat.
- Soak her feet in hot water to ease a headache or nasal congestion.
- Humidify the air in the room. Make sure it’s warm, but not too hot that she feels suffocated and also has good airflow to keep it oxygenated.
- Keep her warm with warm, close-fitted clothes.
- If she has a fever, a sponge bath or wiping her body down with a washcloth dipped in room-temperature water can bring her temperature down a few degrees. Just remember to not let it stay wet for too long as she may feel cold.
- Back rubs may be given to increase comfort.
- Boil a big piece of fresh ginger in 2 cups water for 5-10 minutes, Let her drink a cup every 2-3 hours until the flu is gone. It will relieve nasal congestion, improve blood flow, help eliminate chills and aches and reduce soar throat.
- When it is time to shift to serve bland and starchy foods, including dry toast, bananas, apple sauce, boiled rice, cooked cereal, and baked potatoes. Eat lightly and carefully.
While the flu symptoms occur, it is best to keep dairy products (cheese, yogurt and butter), eggs, chicken, sugary delicacies, and chocolates (bars or drinks) away from your child, as these are known to increase the build-up of mucus.
natural flu remedies
Just follow these natural flu remedies and shower your healing child with an overdose of tender-loving care. If you have any questions on how to manage your child’s flu at home, don’t hesitate to consult her pediatrician.
Additional information by Camille Eusebio
Hopkins Medicine, CDC, Healthline
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advise or medical treatment. TheAsianparent Philippines is not responsible to those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend to consult your doctor for clearer information.