Is this the flu or a regular cold? Should I be concerned?
When it comes to children and illness, the first sign that something is wrong, is a change in their normal behavior. It can be anything from refusing to eat, not wanting to play, clinging to every your every move, being too quite, or too whinny… you get the picture… somehow the regular activity pattern has changed.
To get a handle on what is going on, the first thing to do, if possible while juggling everything else, is to take a minute and focus on what you do know.
These are some of the important questions:
1. Did I notice anything wrong with him/her last night?
2. When was the first time that I noticed that he/she was behaving differently?
3. Did I see anything different on his body? Any bumps or rashes?
4. Has she been eating her normal amount of food?
5. Does he have a fever?
6. Is everything OK with her poop?
One of the items that you must have in the house is a thermometer. As you know, there are many types. There is the ear type, strips and sensors that are placed on the forehead, and of course the oral thermometer. They are all fine. Just choose one and keep it in a place where you can easily find it. Take their temperature.
The normal cold can begin with refusing to eat. The next symptom may be a clear runny nose and a slight cough. You may also see a mild fever on day 2 or 3. The nasal discharge will progress to a thick yellow discharge then back to clear again as the cold improves. The total time from beginning to end may be up to 10 days.
The treatment is plenty of fluids. You will need to have juice, popsicles, jello, and chicken noodle soup in the house. If their stomach is fine, feel free to add the BRAT diet, which is bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast and increase to a soft diet. A soft diet includes the clear liquid foods, the BRAT foods and cooked foods. It usually excludes milk, spicy foods, and difficult to digest foods like peanuts. If the stomach is ‘bad’ then continue the clear liquid diet (add Pedialyte) until the appetite improves.
Unlike the typical cold, the Flu is more intense – meaning that your child looks sicker faster than a typical cold. It can begin suddenly with a high fever along with aches and pains and “I want to go to bed!” Don’t wait! Call your pediatrician and describe their symptoms. Fortunately, we do have anti-viral flu medications for kids which are most effective when given at the beginning of the illness.
It is perfectly fine to continue chewable multivitamin and a little extra vitamin C during the cold or flu. I love Chestal cough syrup and Oscillinoccum flu products for kids. Herbs for Kids is a natural line of products that can be easily added to food or beverages. For colds, Echinacea, Chamomile and Slippery Elm are good natural products that can help your child recover faster from their cold. Agave syrup, which has its own nutritional benefits, can help to soothe a sore throat. I do not recommend over-the-counter medications that usually contain dextromethorphan. They have no proven effectiveness in children and can have serious side effects like drowsiness, diarrhea, and hyperactive behavior.
Each time your child gets a cold and you “nurse” him or her back to health, their immune system matures and your confidence increases at being able to discern what to do. It is completely normal for your child to have a cold 6-8 times per year! I know that sounds like a lot but remember that there is a positive side to having a cold. Think of the word immunity. Your child is building an amazing immune system!
If you have a question or your just can’t figure out the symptoms, schedule your on-line consultation today with Dr. Pat for some expert advice. Remember any question is a good one when it comes to your health and the health of your children!
I know that a cold is the last thing that you need! OK. Let’s just take a moment to focus on you. You know, as well as I know, that it was a miracle that you were able to get the kids all dressed, lunches packed and get them to school on time. Even when you took that moment to go get your hair done, the kids were still waiting for you to came back home.
Remember to take a few deep breathes because you are going to have to take care of yourself.
First of all, is there any chance that you could get in the bed just a little bit earlier tonight. If it means that someone is not going to get a bath tonight……well, everyone will live to see another day!
Secondly, take a look at your stash of vitamins and see if you have some Vitamin C (1000mg) and a women’s multivitamin. The kids vitamins do not have enough nutrients in them for you. You need your own supply!
Thirdly, if you have any herbal products, now is the time to take them. I love Ricola cough drops and syrup, Echinacea, Echinacea/Golden Seal, and Oscillinoccunun cold and flu products.
Remember it is normal to catch a cold from your kids. These are new germs (viruses) that they caught from the other kids at school. It is all part of the cycle of life!
Trust your instincts and remember that Dr. Pat is here to help you stay in control. So if you need a extra advice schedule your online appointment today!