To Treat or Not to Treat the Flu?

To Treat or Not to Treat the Flu?

If your child is 5 years and older and does not have other health problems and gets flu-like symptoms, including a fever and/or cough, make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks enough fluids.  Children should stay home from school until they are free of fever overnight.  Antiviral drugs (such as Tamiflu) are sometimes used to treat influenza. Their benefits are limited. They must be started within 48 hours of when flu symptoms start. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend antiviral drugs for low-risk children with mild flu symptoms. The AAP does recommend antiviral drugs for most high-risk children and for children with severe symptoms (typically, those admitted to the hospital). A list of high-risk problems can be found at healthychildren.org or on the CDC website. Antivirals usually reduce the time your child is sick by just 1 to 1.5 days. They reduce the symptoms, but do not make them go away. Side effects are more likely in children and teens, including nausea and vomiting (most commonly reported), serious skin reactions, neuropsychiatric events (self-injury or delirium), vertigo, seizures, etc.

For more information click on the links listed below:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/Symptom-Checker/Pages/symptomviewer.aspx?symptom=Influenza+Exposure

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/a_flu_guide_for_parents.pdf

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