Cold & Flu Tips for little ones

Children are often the hardest hit when it comes to cold and flu during winter due to their small bodies still being new to the concept of fighting infection. Being in close proximity to other small children in crèches or schools means bugs and other “nasties” can be spread a lot easier. Their runny noses and watery eyes are a sure sign they’re in need of some TLC, so what can you do to help your little ones should they fall under the weather this winter?

As with adults, provided the symptoms aren’t too severe, self-care tips should always be the first port-of-call. I’m fully aware of how difficult it can be to find a suitable option for children, as often they’re very limited to what they can take and perhaps are quite fussy with what they will take too. Some of the best care tips that I would always recommend to parents are:

  • Put some vapour rub on a towel/tissue and leave near their bedside– don’t apply directly to the skin. (Snuffle Babe ® is suitable for infants 3 months+).
  • Saline based nasal drops can work very well for decongestion, some brands have a product that can be used from birth e.g. Calpol ®.
  • Another Calpol® product that I would recommend for infants (3 months+) is the “Vapour Plug and Nightlight”. This provides a soothing, calming environment, which can aid a child’s breathing and sleep.
  • A warm bath can ease breathing.
  • Ensure the child remains hydrated.
  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Remember to avoid honey in babies <1, and aspirin in children <16 years.
  • All products listed are available through the LloydsPharmacy website, or in store (subject to availability).
  • If the child is wheezing/short of breath or has middle ear pain or has a sore throat with fever or if the symptoms haven’t improved within 3 days, it is advisable that you attend your GP for a diagnosis.

calpol_plug_in_800x

To reduce the chances of your little ones coming down with something this winter I would always recommend supplements for both toddlers and older children. They are readily available, affordable and often come in appealing jelly forms for kids. At LloydsPharmacy, some of the products we stock are: Junior Revive Active, Centrum for Kids, Nature’s Way- Alive! Children’s Chewable Multivitamins.

Revive-Active-Junior-Vitamin-and-Mineal-Complex-20-Pack

Brought to you by Sarah Morris, 4th year pharmacy intern at LloydsPharmacy

 

Top Tips For Fevers

 

Keeping Fever AwayI am currently working with Nurofen for Children to raise awareness of fever management, a commom symptom of Cold and Flu in kids following recent research[1] undertaken by Nurofen, which found that 60% of parents in Ireland panic when they discover their child had a fever.

Below is some advice to help parents recognise and treat the symptoms associated with fever.

What are the common symptoms of cold and flu in children?

Fever is often the first sign of an illness in children and when your child has a temperature it can be a very worrying time. However, while fever is the first sign of an illness such as a cold or flu it is also simply the body’s way of fighting infection and increasing protection against disease.

How would parents recognise fever?

Fever is regarded as having a body temperature usually above 37.8°C. Symptoms may vary according to the underlying cause of fever, but some common signs to look out for include:

  • Irritability
  • Restlessness during the night
  • Pale with cool hands and feet but hot forehead, tummy and back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shivering
  • Vomiting suddenly

How would you suggest parents treat a fever? 

Once you have established that your child has a temperature in excess of 37.8°C, fever reducing medication should be considered. You can also take additional steps to reduce fever and increase your child’s comfort by:

  • Loosening tight clothing
  • Make your child’s environment cooler
  • Keep giving them cool drinks which will prevent dehydration
  • Do not give your child a cold bath as this can cause the child to shiver which actually raises core body temperature

When should parents be concerned about fever?

Parents should seek medical assistance from their GP if:

  • The fever is accompanied by a stiff neck, confusion or irritability
  • Your child is between 6 months and 1 year and the fever lasts longer the 24 hours
  • Despite treatment the fever does not reduce below 37.8°C
  • The fever persists longer than two days
  • Assistance should always be sought from a GP for babies under 3 months who are experiencing a fever, irrespective of other symptoms or duration

What resources would you recommend to parents looking to become more confident in treating fever?

Firstly, many parents rely on tactile temperature readings, which is the feeling of the forehead. My advice to parents would be to consider using a good thermometer, such as a digital ear thermometer, for a more accurate reading.

Secondly, it’s important that parents have some medicine to hand in their medicine cabinet.

Nurofen for Children is specially formulated to reduce fever in children, providing fever-reducing benefits from 15 minutes and long lasting relief for up to 8 hours.

To be prepared for when fever strikes, the Nurofen for Children Pain and Fever Guide is available to download from www.nurofenforchildren.ie. This guide offers simple fever advice for parents and is very handy to have in the medicine cabinet – just in case!

Written by Aoife Molloy


[1] Research conducted by Empathy Research, based on a survey of 291 parents of children aged between 0-6 years of age.