My Newborn is Sick with the Flu

Last updated on Mar 15, 2013

by Dr. Christine Lee, MD

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My Newborn is Sick with the Flu

Flu can lead to numerous complications. It is a high-risk illness for newborns and if your child is down with the flu, you should talk to the doctor immediately.

A virus named influenza causes the flu. The illness is also known as influenza commonly. Flu is represented by muscle pain, headaches, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, and a fever. People who get the illness will recover safely with no problems within a few days. However, things are different with children, especially babies. Flu can lead to numerous complications. It is a high-risk illness for newborns and if your child is down with the flu, you should talk to the doctor immediately. Even if you see signs of flu, you should take immediate action so that it is does not become more serious. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Flu is dangerous for newborns

The reason why the flu is dangerous for newborns is that their immune system is not fully developed yet. It is immature and can’t fight illnesses well. This makes babies weaker and more susceptible to the virus. Not being able to fight the virus makes matters worse and the flu will become capable of causing potential damage. You should also be aware of the fact that the symptoms may not be the same as those seen in adults. Symptoms of the flu in babies vary considerably. For example, some babies may only have fever and may not exhibit any other symptom of flu. Some other babies may suffer with diarrhea and vomiting. Other common signs of flu in babies are ear pain and red eyes. If you see any of these symptoms, you should go to the pediatrician immediately.

Flu can lead to complications in newborns

As aforementioned, the flu can lead to complications in newborns. These complications include severe croup. Croup is a condition in which the throat is infected. As a result the vocal cords are affected and the baby faces breathing problems. Cough of the baby will be more like a bark and the baby will start breathing loudly. The flu may also cause lung infection and this can be very dangerous because lung infections can in turn cause pneumonia. Sinus infections and ear infections are other complications. In rare and unlucky cases, there are many complications of the immune system, brain, and heart of the baby. To avoid such problems, call for action is very important. You should not neglect even a seemingly harmless light fever in your newborn.

See the doctor immediately

You should take your newborn to the doctor immediately if you suspect flu. The doctor will advise you about the medicine to be given. Acetaminophen may be given in order to reduce the fever. However, the best form of medicine is breastfeeding. You will be passing your immunities onto your baby. So better than any Tylenol, breastfeed your little sick one! Make sure you dress your baby in light clothes only if she is suffering from a fever. The temperature of the room should also be normal. You should make sure you keep feeding your baby so that she is hydrated. Keep administering formula, fluids, and breast milk as often as can be tolerated.

How to prevent

In order to prevent the flu in your baby, you should take a shot of flu while you are pregnant. The antibodies will travel to your baby during your pregnancy through the placenta and when born, your baby will be immune to the illness. You should also make sure that your family members and those who are usually around your baby get their flu shots so as to lower the risks of transmission. Remember that flu is contagious and it spreads.

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My Newborn is Sick with the Flu, 4.2 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

Dr. Christine Lee earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Master of Science in Biomolecular Organization. Dr. Lee is Lab Director for ConceiveEasy and is board certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD).

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