Swine Flu In Children - Symptoms, Treatments & Vaccines

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As a mom, do you often worry about your child’s safety whenever there is an epidemic? Have you spoken to your doctor about a swine flu vaccine for your child, and are you looking for some information on the same? If you nodded along anxiously, then maybe it’s time you read our post.

While it is true that your child’s growing up years will feature many diseases and conditions, there are some that can be prevented. Swine flu, although a serious condition, is among one of the preventable ones. So, scroll down to learn more about swine flu in children here.

What Is Swine Flu?

Swine flu or swine influenza or pig flu is a type of infection that occurs due to a group of swine influenza viruses. Swine flu is also known as the 2009 H1N1 flu. 2009 was when the first case of swine flu was reported.

While swine flu spreads from the pigs and reaches people who are directly exposed to the same, it does not mean that your child will catch swine flu only after coming in contact with a pig. Swine flu can also spread from an infected person to another just as a regular flu infection, when an infected person coughs or sneezes and someone else is nearby. The swine flu virus can spread rather easily and it is especially dangerous in an enclosed area, where the chance of getting infected from another person is even higher. One thing you should remember is that the H1N1 virus or the swine flu virus does not spread by eating pork or handling any pork preparations (1).

[ Read: Signs Of Influenza In Children ]

Symptoms Of Swine Flu In Children:

The symptoms of swine flu in child differ from one to the other. While some children may suffer from mild symptoms, some children can also show exhibit severe symptoms that can cause further complications. Here are some of the most common symptoms of swine flu that you can see in your child:

  • Fever that can be mild or even high
  • A feeling of always being tired and very exhausted, even if your child has slept or rested well
  • Your child may have bouts of coughing that could be mild or severe
  • A throbbing pain in the head
  • Pain in the muscles and joints or all over the body

[ Read: Joint Pain In Kids ]

In Some Cases, The Swine Flu Infection Can Also Cause The Following Symptoms In Your Child:

  • A severe pain in the abdominal area
  • Loose stool that could also be diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe dehydration
  • Pneumonia

If your child does have a fever due to swine flu, it can sometimes reach a dangerously high temperature and almost more than 102.5 degrees F.

Whether the symptoms of swine flu are mild or severe, if your child is younger than five, the risks of complications can be quite high.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Diarrhea In Kids ]

Make Sure You Take Your Child To The Doctor Under The Following Circumstances:

If you notice any of the following symptoms in your child, make sure you immediately rush to the nearest medical facility:

  • If your child has a very high temperature
  • If your child looks very sleepy even after having taken proper rest or having slept well
  • If your child is not feeling well to such an extent that he does not want to interact with anyone, not even family or friends
  • If your child is not interested in eating anything at all or is not able to eat anything due to some discomfort
  • In case the symptoms are severe, your child will also have difficulty in breathing. You have to make sure that the moment you notice that your child is having any problems in breathing you should urgently take him to the nearest medical facility.
  • If your child already has any other medical complications, such as asthma or diabetes, at the time of being affected by swine flu, make sure to get immediate medical attention no matter how mild the symptoms are.
  • If you notice a change in your child’s skin tone, where the skin starts to turn a bluish or gray tint, make sure to get your child to the nearest medical facility immediately.

[ Read: Influenza Vaccine For Kids ]

Treatment For Swine Flu In Children:

In most cases where swine flu affects children, the symptoms are mostly mild and do not need much treatment. In many cases, swine flu in children can also be treated with simple rest and care right at home.

However, there have also been instances where children have been affected by swine flu without having any other medical complications but have required urgent medical treatment. In some cases, the swine flu has also been so severe that it has been fatal.

Here are some of the treatment options that your child’s doctor may suggest if your child gets affected with swine flu:

1. Antiviral Medicine Dose:

  • In case, your child is younger than two years of age or has some other medical condition no matter what the age, the doctor will prescribe a dose of an antiviral medicine known as Tamiflu.
  • Tamiflu is a type of antiviral drug that will help to stop the swine flu virus from growing inside your child’s body and will help to make your child feel better much faster.Tamiflu will only show the best results if your child takes it in the first 48 hours after the first signs and symptoms of swine flu show up. That is why it is very important that you get in touch with your child’s doctor the moment you feel that something is wrong with your child or can identify the signs and symptoms of swine flu.

2. Rest:

  •  Your child’s doctor will also recommend that your child get a lot of rest at home, whether or not your child is also taking the antiviral medicine dosage.
  • If your child feels sleepy or tired, make sure that you make him lie down and sleep or rest. Even if your child does not want to lie down, you can try to encourage your child to rest by suggesting some quiet lying down activities.

[ Read: Causes Of Stomach Flu In Children ]

3. Drink Lots Of Fluids:

  • In addition to giving your child antiviral medicines if required and asking your child to rest, the doctor will also suggest that your child has a lot of fluids through the day.
  • When your child has swine flu, it is possible that he will not feel like eating anything or will have trouble eating properly. As a result, your child will have the risk of getting dehydrated a lot, which can cause more medical complications. If your child also has a fever, it can also make your child dehydrated.
  • To make sure that your child is properly hydrated, and there is no excess loss of fluid, you can offer a healthy and interesting mix of fluids to your child.
  • If your child prefers to have milk in a bottle you can continue to offer the same to your little one. Additionally, you should make sure that your child has at least eight to ten glasses of water in a day, even if he cannot have a full glass at one go. Make sure that your child constantly tries to go on sipping as many times as he can.
  • You can also make some healthy and delicious fresh juices at home using vegetables and fruits, or offer your child some tasty blends of infused water. When your child is not well, he will not like the flavor of most things that you offer, so make sure you keep changing the ingredients and offer him a different choice each time.
  • Another choice of liquid diet that will be very healthy for your child and will also help him to recover faster is chicken broth or chicken soup. Your child will also be able to gain back his energy faster by drinking chicken broth or soup.

[ Read: Treatment For Dehydration In Children ]

4. Medication That Will Help To Relieve Pain:

  • If your child is suffering from pain because of the swine flu, the doctor may prescribe certain medicines that will help to bring down the pain and may also help to bring down the fever.
  • If your child is older than six months of age, the doctor may suggest pain relieving medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen that can also help to bring down the fever.
  • Make sure that you do not give aspirin to your child at any age, even if it is the one that is meant for babies or younger children. If your child’s doctor does prescribe an aspirin medicine, ask them for an alternative medicine (2).

[ Read: Tamiflu For Kids – Uses, Dosage & Side Effects ]

Swine Flu Vaccine For Children:

Speak to your doctor about the following vaccines to help prevent swine flu in your child:

  • Swine flu triple reassortant (tr) H1N1 virus
  • The trH3N2 virus
  • The trH1N2 virus (3)

Your child’s doctor may suggest a flu shot or a flu vaccine that is given as a nasal spray, but the spray cannot be given to a child who is younger than two years of age.

Swine flu is a preventable disease but only if you speak to your child’s doctor on time. Check about all the preventive measures that you can take to keep your child healthy and safe.

Moms, did your doctor suggest any swine flu vaccine for your child? Which one was it and what age did your child take it? Tell us about it here.

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