If you are a parent like myself, you are most likely to understand that children can catch flu, also known as influenza, more than once a year. Health experts say, flu is a respiratory infection and it is highly contagious, caused by a virus.
As parents, we often notice that this happens when children share close spaces like classrooms. Doctors usually explain that these viruses are found in throat and nose.
The germs can spread through the air when a person coughs or sneezes. Droplets from the cough or sneeze may reach another person’s nose or mouth.
Also, when children come in direct contact with an infected person, such as touching or playing, it might cause the flu to spread.
Dr Rahim Damji, a paediatrician based at Regency Hospital in Dar es Salaam explains to Your Health that children can spread flu to others a day before the symptom start and get sick five to seven days after.
Flu can also move from one child to another by sharing things like toys, pencil, books and other materials.
Cold and flu has become one of the most common condition which affect children. They get sick from it so often that it makes parents or guardian to visit hospitals or pharmacy every now and then. As a parent, I know it can get stressful to keep their child on medication every day.
In an effort to susibe and prevent the symptoms of flu naturally at home, here are some safe ways Dr Damji explains so as to also stop flu from spreading it to others.
1. Hand washing
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean running water. Teach your children to wash their hands properly.
Also you should adopt the habits of washing your hands before touching anything that is related to the baby, this will help reducing bacteria and contaminate other materials. Another important thing is washing hands after using toilets and before and after eating.
2. Healthy eating
Eating a healthy balanced diet gives your baby energy and enough antibodies to fight against cold and flu.
Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K, it also has mineral such as zinc, selenium, and iron.
Feed your baby foods with more proteins such as eggs, ground nuts, milk and soya. Protein is an important substance in human body; it is the most plentiful in your children body. It will help your baby to fight against cold and flu.
Honey is a thick, sweet liquid that is produced by honey bees. Honey is a time honoured remedy for a sore throat, it acts as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Honey has a lot of vitamins and minerals that help the body to fight against diseases.
Here is an example of how to make honey an effective remedy.
Mix one teaspoon of honey and add a pinch of turmeric. Give this to your child (aged 1 year and above) two times a day. This is a very useful remedy for children as well as adult, it helps reliving cold. It contains antibodies which will help the body fight against it.
4. Avoid fan
Avoid fan if you can, but if the weather is too hot make sure it is properly cleaned. The room also should be clean because dust increases the bitterness of the nose and block the respiratory system especially when they are sleeping.
5. Warm water
Warm water relieves congestion and makes your baby feel more relaxed. They also act as antiseptic. Mix warm water and salt, use to wipe affected areas, this will reduce bacteria and open the blockage of air in the child’s respiratory organ.
Most of the time, you can care for your child at home with plenty of liquids, rest, comfort and all these remedies.
But some children especially those who are younger than five years or children with asthma should see a doctor at least three day after they get sick in order for a thorough check-up because a doctor may take more tests to find out if it is just cold and flu or they have other complications.
Also, parents should seek medical attention if the symptoms of flu doesn’t subside in few days and if fevers are persistent, seek medical attention immediately.