Believe it or not, home remedies can be some of the best ways to treat flu symptoms.
A child's flu symptoms might include:
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Fever or feverish chills
It's not always easy to tell the difference between a cold and the flu. But if you think your child is sick with the flu, the two most important ways to help them get better are encourage them to rest and keep them hydrated with lots of fluids.
These kid-friendly flu home remedies may also help your child feel better.
At-home flu remedies for kids
- Try a cool-mist humidifier to soothe a sore throat. Put it close to your child's bed.
- For children older than 1 year, give them a teaspoon of honey at night – before they brush their teeth – to help with a nighttime cough. If they don't like honey plain, you can mix it in warm water. See more cough remedies for kids.
- For children who are too young to blow their nose, use a bulb suction to remove mucus.
- Have your child breathe in moist, warm steam from a shower or bath for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also have your child put their face over a pot of hot water and place a towel over their head. This can loosen mucus and also help calm your child before bed.
- Resist the temptation to give cough and cold medications to your kids. While there are lots of them for sale, experts do not recommend these medicines for young children because they can have serious side effects like increased heart rate or nausea. Learn more about why cough and cold medications are not recommended for young children.
- For children older than 6 months, give them lots of warm fluids. Warm liquids such as caffeine-free tea, broth or hot water with lemon can help loosen up mucus and soothe a sore throat.
When to seek medical care for the flu
Most children with the flu get better with time, rest and plenty of liquids. But there are some important signs that a child might need medical care like if they haven't urinated or had anything to drink in the last 8 hours, or if they've had a fever for more than 3 days.
Some parents also wonder about prescription medicine for the flu, like Tamiflu. Tamiflu is generally recommended when a child can take it within 48 hours of symptoms, or if a child is considered higher risk for serious illness. Learn more about when children should take Tamiflu.
Get care now
We know that getting sick is never convenient. But now you can videoconference with a health care provider 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with Virtual Visit by Children's Health Virtual Care. Get treated right from your smartphone, tablet or computer for allergies, common colds and flu, cuts and more. Download the Virtual Visit app today.