The flu, or 'influenza' (in-flu-EHN-zuh) is a viral infection. Symptoms of the flu include: chills, drowsiness, weakness, sudden high fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, coughing, sore throat, and a lack of appetite. Some children, especially young infants, also can have vomiting and diarrhea (dye-uh-REE-uh). Antibiotics can't treat flu infection and are used only if a secondary bacterial infection develops, such as pneumonia (new-MOAN-yuh) or an ear infection. Instead, the symptoms are treated. Consult a doctor, and make sure the child rests and drinks plenty of fluids, but don't give aspirin. If needed, use a pain reliever suggested by a doctor. Unless there's an epidemic occurring where you live, vaccinating a child against the flu isn't recommended, unless the child suffers from a chronic illness, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis (SIS-tick fye-BROH-sis). Make sure the child has recovered fully before resuming normal activities.
©2006 Crossroads Mobile. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.