At this time of year with the kids back to school after the holidays and the cold weather set to continue, cold and flu can easily creep up on your little ones.
We spoke to Aoife Molloy, Pharmacist at LloydsPharmacy. Aoife is currently working with Nurofen for Children to raise awareness of fever management, a common symptom of Cold and Flu in kids following recent research undertaken by Nurofen, which found that 60% of parents in Ireland panic when they discover their child had a fever. She offered the following advice:
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,” said Aoife.
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:
• Restlessness during the night
• Pale with cool hands and feet but hot forehead, tummy and back
• Loss of appetite
• 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”
“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,” added Aoife. “Secondly, it’s important that parents have some medicine to hand. Nurofen for Children is specially formulated to reduce fever in children, providing long lasting relief for up to 8 hours.”
Parents should seek medical assistance from their GP if:
• The fever is accompanied by a stiff neck, confusion or irritability
• If the child has a rash which does not disappear when you press a glass against it
• 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.
• Trust your instincts as a parent. If you are worried then see your doctor.