What to do if a child has the flu
So long as the symptoms aren’t severe and the child is otherwise healthy, give them rest and plenty of fluids, but there is no need to seek medical help. Only if a child’s symptoms grow severe, or if they have other ailments that increase the risk of complications – such as chronic heart, lung or kidney conditions – is it necessary to contact medical personnel.
How long does it take to recover from the flu?
It typically takes between 7 and 14 days for flu to run its course, with the average being right around 10 days.
Get plenty of rest
It sounds so cliché, but rest is important in more ways than one. Not only does sleep help a person recover from the flu, but flu symptoms can increase a person’s normal sleep requirement. Because people with the flu don’t sleep as well from all the congestion, a person may need to be in bed 10 hours just to get the equivalent of 7 hours of quality sleep. (Mitchell, 2018) A child who normally sleeps 10 hours may need 13 or 14 to get the same amount of rest.
Medications to treat the flu
There are really only 2 medicines that actually attack the flu virus. The most common is Tamiflu, which if taken once you have the flu can decrease the intensity of symptoms and shorten its duration by a day or two. Though the benefits are modest, taking it may help prevent a person from developing severe flu complications. It is taken twice a day for five days.
The second is Xofluza, a recently approved drug developed in Japan and approved in the U.S. It can kill the flu virus in as little as 24 hours on a single dose. The downside is that some flu viruses are already showing resistance to Xofluza, a problem that showed up even during their clinical trials, when nearly a quarter of children in late-stage trials harbored viruses that fought off Xofluza. (Fujikawa & Davis, 2019) But when it works, patients often see dramatic results.