Keep children hydrated says health after surge in flu-like illness

Parents are advised to keep their children hydrated as a means of reducing cold and Influenza (flu) symptoms after increasing cases of flu-like illness reported from health centres and hospitals.

The ministry is particularly concerned about the care of infants and children who are within the flu high-risk groups.

“Parents are urged to encourage a lot of fluids like fresh fruit juices and water (e.g. lemon juice) for their children even if they do not feel thirsty as they normally would, or maybe uncomfortable when drinking,” the ministry said.

“Dehydration can be very serious in babies, especially if they’re under 3 months old therefore parents must go to their nearest health center or doctor if they suspect their baby is dehydrated.”

Symptoms of Dehydration

Some signs of dehydration may include; no tears when crying, dry lips, soft spot in the head that seem sunken-in, decreased activity, and urinating less than three to four times in 24 hours.

Take your child to hospital if:

Sometimes even the best at-home care isn’t enough to help your little one makes a full recovery therefore seek medical care right away if your child; has a fever greater than 38°C for more than two days, or a fever of 40°C or higher for any amount of time, has a fever of 38°C or higher and is under 3 months old, has a fever that doesn’t get better after taking Panadol, seems unusually drowsy or lethargic, won’t eat or drink or is wheezing or is short of breath.

Care after recovery

  • Wash all surfaces they come into contact with before or during their sickness and encourage your children and other family members to wash their hands regularly to keep germs at bay.
  • Teach your child not to share food, drinks, or utensils when they eat as this assists with avoiding the spread of germs between them and their friends.
  • Keep your child out of daycare or school if they are ill and especially if they have a fever, also keep them away from others with flu-like symptoms and avoid crowds.
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