If you've done your research and feel that your child DOES have influenza, the best treatment is rest and PLENTY of fluids. For a baby younger than four months, that just means regular nursing or bottle feeding, while an older infant can also have a little water. And if your baby is over six months old, you can introduce her to a little fruit juice. You may find that giving your baby child acetaminophen relieves some discomfort. For babies older than 6 months, ibuprofen is also effective. Of course, you should ALWAYS check in with the doctor before you give your baby medication, although you don't necessarily need to visit his or her office. Because there is NO medicine that kills the influenza virus, and because treatment is simple, a doctor may suggest that you wait. There are medications that can shorten the duration and severity of flu symptoms, but you have to be seen by a doctor to obtain this. If, however, your baby has a fever ABOVE 101 degrees, or if a fever lasts longer than three days, it's important to contact your pediatrician. Similarly, call the doctor if your baby doesn't start to feel at least a little better in three to five days. This is important because'while most bouts of flu heal harmlessly'the virus CAN lead to serious consequences, like pneumonia. In the future, help prevent the flu by keeping both your infant's and your own hands clean.
July 16, 2012