Caring for a sick child can be incredibly stressful for a parent. This is especially true when a child is infected with the pediatric flu.

Thousands of children in Salt Lake City experience the pediatric flu each year; however, many of these cases can be prevented with the pediatric flu vaccine. But, if your child does contract the pediatric flu, consider these tips to prevent serious complications.

Pediatric Flu Care Tip#1: Clear the Congestion

Because the pediatric flu attacks a child’s respiratory system, it is important to clear congestion from the child’s airways if possible.

Three short sprays of saline nasal spray can help alleviate congestion in children with the pediatric flu. When caring for very young children with the pediatric flu, you may use a nasal bulb. If breathing does not improve at home, contact your Salt Lake City healthcare provider right away.

Pediatric Flu Tip #2: Talk to Your Doc about Antivirals
Some children with the pediatric flu may benefit from antiviral medication. Although these drugs don’t “cure” the flu, they can help shorten recovery time, prevent serious complications and decrease symptom severity.

Only your doctor will know if antiviral medication is right for your child—it is important to contact them right away. Although it can be administered later, antiviral therapy is most effective when taken in the first 48 hours after pediatric flu symptoms begin.

Pediatric Flu Tip # 3: Ditch Over-the-Counter Medicines

Over-the-counter cold and cough medicines should not be given to young children, according to drug manufacturers, the FDA and the American Academy of Pediatricians. Most Utah pediatricians say children under the age of six should not be administered medicine to alleviate pediatric flu symptoms without a doctor’s prescription.

If you are struggling to manage your child’s pediatric flu symptoms, contact your healthcare professional. A pediatrician can advice you on alternative ways to improve your child’s comfort and improve recovery time.

Pediatric Flu Care Tip #4: Assess Risk Factors

The pediatric flu can be dangerous for children with preexisting health conditions. Additionally, children under the age of five are at greater risk of serious complications than older children.

Do not delay in contacting your Salt Lake City healthcare provider if your child is experiencing flulike symptoms and has one or more of the following conditions: diabetes, a heart condition, lung disease, otherwise compromised immune system or asthma.

Pediatric Flu Care Tip #5: Be Diligent & Seek Help if Necessary

If your child begins experiencing severe symptoms of the pediatric flu, or the child’s condition does not improve, it is best to seek emergency help.

Contact 911 or take your child to a Salt Lake City hospital if they are having difficulty breathing, show signs of dehydration, appear gray or blue in color, behave in a concerning way, does not improve with time or experiences seizures. Ignoring these signs could result in serious pediatric flu complications.

Jean Brown Research is conducting a Salt Lake City clinical research study for an investigational pediatric flu vaccine study. Healthy children 6 months to 35 months old who have never received a flu vaccination in the past may receive study-related care, an investigational pediatric flu vaccination and compensation for time and travel if they qualify.

Learn more about our Salt Lake City pediatric flu vaccination study now.