As your child’s immune system is still developing, they are more prone to falling ill. While your child getting sick is a part of growing up, there are still steps you can take as a parent to minimise their chances of catching a bad cold or the flu, especially during flu season. Let our ENT specialist, Dr Jenica Yong, share several practical tips to help you and your family avoid the flu bug throughout the year.

Tip #1: Get Your Child Vaccinated

Get Your Child Vaccinated

Never underestimate the importance of vaccination in combating the flu. While vaccines do not grant complete immunity against the viral infection, they decrease your child’s risk of contracting the illness. Even if your child does get sick, the symptoms are often less severe.

Before scheduling your child for influenza vaccination, it is vital to note that some might experience minor side effects of redness, pain, swelling, and low-grade fever after receiving their flu shot. These reactions generally last 24 to 48 hours. While severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) are rare, they can happen within minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

A severe allergic reaction includes one or more of the following symptoms:

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a medical professional immediately.

Tip #2: Disinfect Common Touch Surfaces Regularly

Cold and flu viruses are often spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can possibly be inhaled into the lungs or land on a surface where the germ can survive for up to 48 hours. When someone comes into contact with the infected surface, they are at risk of contracting influenza.

So, as you can see, it is imperative to disinfect common touch surfaces at home to prevent the virus from spreading. Pay close attention to items and objects your child may frequently come into contact with, such as the doorknob, countertops, remote control, and toys.

Tip #3: Practise Good Hygiene

Practise Good Hygiene

Good hygiene is essential in combating common ENT conditions, like ear infections and tonsillitis. That is why our paediatric ENT specialist often emphasises the importance of maintaining proper hygiene during treatment. This practice also holds true in preventing viral infections like the cold and flu.

Teach your child to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze to prevent germs from spreading, preferably with a clean tissue whenever possible. Subsequently, remind them to promptly discard the used tissue and wash their hands regularly with soap and water to prevent catching and transmitting germs to others.

Tip #4: Keep Your Child Away From School When They Are Sick

When your child is sick, taking sufficient time off from school and extracurricular activities so that the cold can run its course is one of the best ways to keep them healthy in the long term. With ample rest, they can recover quickly and avoid spreading the virus to their friends and classmates.

Tip #5: Maintain A Healthy Diet

Maintain A Healthy Diet

You are what you eat. So, ensure your child eats well to be well. A healthy and balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, is an excellent source of nutrients to build defences and boost your child’s developing immune system, preventing them from falling ill regularly.

By keeping the practical tips outlined by our ENT specialist, Dr Jenica Yong, in mind, you can significantly reduce your child’s risk of contracting the cold or flu and ensure their well-being throughout the year. That, in turn, can also prevent your child from developing ear infections, which are often a result of another illness that causes congestion and swelling, such as a cold, flu, or allergies.

It is also essential to note that common symptoms of the cold or flu, like cough, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and fever, could be signs of allergic rhinitis or sinusitis. So, if you suspect your child is suffering from either ENT conditions rather than influenza, contact our clinic to schedule an ENT consultation with our doctor today.

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