With the start of a new school/preschool year comes a new flu season .
It seems like each year families do their best to prevent the "sniffles and runs," often to no avail. Furthermore, health practitioners often remind us that healing from minor viruses helps our children's immune systems to mature and to get stronger.
But then there's the stress of missed work days, criticism for sending a sneezing, sniffling child to school or daycare , and the always present fear of an illness "turning serious" because, after all, it can happen so suddenly for young children.
There is also evidence that running to the doctor too quickly when children feel unwell leads to the over-prescription of antibiotics and other medication. This can lead to antibiotic resistance and superbugs.
Often, even when a Yukon family decides that a visit to the family doctor is needed , parents are dismayed to find out that the earliest appointment is over a week away. Their only option is a visit to a walk-in clinic which could expose children to even more germs, or a lengthy wait at the emergency unit which sometimes seems like overkill.
What is a family to do?
Of course the first answer is prevention: good nutrition, lots of hand washing and adequate rest.
But what about when they are ill?
When is it fine to resort to natural remedies and grandma's recipes, and when is a visit to the doctor a MUST?
In the September, 2017 issue of alive magazine (which you may want to check out), author Meghan van Drimmelen, N.D., suggests using these guides to determine:
(Of course , when a child has a compromised immune system due to a diagnosis or medication, follow the attending doctor's instructions.)
When to visit the doctor for:
A COLD OR FLU
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty keeping food or fluids down
- Difficulty swallowing
- Fever higher than 38C for more than 3 days
- Cough or nasal congestion that doesn't improve or worsens over 14 days.
- Ear pain lasting longer than 48 hours
- Fever of39C or higher
- Rapid onset of symptoms
- Sever ear pain
- Drainage from the ear
- Blood in stool
- Constipation worsens or lasts more than a week
- Wetting the bed uncharacteristically
- Night terrors
In the mean time, keep the vitamin C handy, try home-made chicken broth, and perhaps research the many wonderful home remed ies loved by families for generations.