When temperatures start turning colder and kids are inside and interacting with each other in greater numbers, cold and flu season inevitably follows. You may know that cold and flu season is around the corner, but that doesn’t make it easier when you see your little one struggling with a cough and a stuffy nose.
Colds and flus are viral infections, so antibiotics won’t help when it comes to clearing up an infection. However, there are steps you can take to help your child feel better while their immune system battles the virus.
Offer Plenty of Fluids
Keep your child hydrated to help reduce cold and flu symptoms and make them feel better. Fevers can result in dehydration. Your child may not feel as thirsty as they normally would, and they may be uncomfortable when drinking, so it’s important to encourage them to drink plenty of fluids.
Clear Up Stuffed Nasal Passages
Medicated nasal sprays aren’t recommended for young children. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to clear up a stuffy nose without medication.
Use a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room. This will help break up mucus. Be sure to carefully clean the humidifier between uses to keep mold from developing in the machine.
Another option is using a saline nasal spray or drops, which makes thin mucus easier to blow out or remove with a bulb syringe. This is especially helpful before feeding and bedtime.
Surviving Cold and Flu Season
After your child recovers from a cold or flu, it’s time to go into prevention mode. Wash all surfaces they came into contact with before or during their sickness. Encourage your children and your other family members to wash their hands regularly to keep future germs at bay. Teach your child not to share food, drinks, or utensils when they eat to avoid spreading germs between them and their friends. Keep your child out of daycare or school when they are ill, especially when they have a fever.
The good news about cold and flu season is that it does come and go. Showing your child some loving care and taking steps to put them on the mend can help you make it through cold and flu season.
Your child may be very hot due to fever. Dress them comfortably and avoid heavy blankets or excessive layers that could make your child feel hotter. A lukewarm bath can also help your child cool off and wind down before taking a nap or going to sleep for the night.