COUGH……COLDS……ahhhh chooo……….and the dreadful FLU!
This week we have seen many students, teachers and parents with symptoms of sore throats, cough, colds and runny nose. Let us try keep our students in the classroom and not at home by having a look at some health reminders for this time of the year when those little germs are out and about.
Cold, flu and respiratory illness are caused by different viruses. They have similar flu like symptoms and can be difficult to tell the differences. In general, flu is worse than the common cold and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness and a dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are milder than the flu. People with colds tend to snort, sniffle and sneeze and they don’t result in serious health problems like pneumonia and bacterial infections.
Sore throats make it painful to swallow and feels dry and scratchy. A sore throat is a frequent symptom of the common cold or other respiratory tract infection.
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, like the ones that cause cold or flu. Other sore throats like strep throat are caused by bacteria; which will require review by a Doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Allergies, dry air, pollution (airborne or chemical)
Smoking and exposure to 2nd hand smoke. Contact with other sick people. NOT WASHING YOUR HANDS, not covering your cough or sneezes.
Signs and Symptoms of a viral infection accompanied by a sore throat
Sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, mild headache, mild body aches, runny nose, low grade fever.
See a Doctor if:
- Sore throat more than 1 week
- Difficulty in swallowing or breathing
- Temperature 38 Celsius or 100 F
- Pus on the back of the throat
- Blood in saliva or phlegm
- Symptoms of dehydration, like – dry mouth, sleepiness
- Decrease urination, muscle weakness, headache, dizziness
- If your child has had contact with someone with strep throat or reoccurring sore throats
- You as a parent are not sure and need advice
How can you help?
- Sore throat – ice chips and lozenges (visit; www.cdc.gov to see if over counter lozenges are safe for your child). Keep up your fluids.
- Ear Pain – warm cloth over the ear that hurts.
- Headache – res, oral pain relief
- Runny nose and Sinus Pain – Warm compress over nose and forehead to relieve nasal congestion. Breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water (always supervise your child) or run a warm shower and inhale the steam. Clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer. Consider getting the flu vaccination (FMP and Raffles have this on offer)
If you child has a fever (fever is 37.8 c or above) your child must stay home. Your child must be fever free for at least 24hrs without fever reducing medication.