Asthma Mom’s Rules for Enduring Flu Season
Possible alternate title for this post:
My Influenza Prevention Tips, Plus Coping Tricks When Prevention Falls to the Petri Dish of Elementary School
Here’s what I focus on in the Asthma Mom household:
Getting Flu Shots
Always, always, always. And then again one more time.
Eating and Sleeping Well
Connections between nutrition and disease prevention are still not 100% clear, but getting good sleep every night and eating healthy food as much as possible certainly never hurt anyone.
Following Flu Maps
Tools like this CDC one make tracking outbreaks and trends in my city easy every year.
Related, Remembering the Difference Between Colds and Flu
They can look pretty similar, but the flu hits very hard, very fast and almost always involves a fever but not the runny or stuffy nose of a cold. And while colds might involve some minor body aches, they don’t generally make people feel like a truck ran over them.
Tracking flu and recognizing its symptoms haven’t ever prevented my kids from getting sick, but I can catch it early and play hardball from the beginning.
In September 2009, I’d been keeping an eye on swine flu news for several months. Then I got sick and stayed that way for over a week. A couple days later, AG dropped her backpack and jacket by the front door as soon as she walked in the house after school and said, “I’m so TIRED. I think I’m sick.” I pointed her to the couch, handed her the remote, poured some juice, and called our pediatrician to make an appointment for the next day.
Even though she started Tamiflu within 24 hours of getting sick, AG coughed heavily and needed bronchodilator treatments every four to five hours throughout her bout with flu. She also had to sit out during gym class for a week after she felt well enough to return to school, but she did not end up on oral steroids.
Keeping a Sick Box
I link to this post constantly because it works.
Starting the Bronchodilator After Onset of the Flu but Before Flare Symptoms
Remember: this is what I do, what I’m comfortable with, and what I’ve discussed with my daughter’s doctor. It’s not medical advice. Ask your pediatrician first if you want to try something similar.
I view my daughter’s quick-relief inhaler during influenza a lot like pre-treatment before sports for exercise-induced asthmatics. I know the bronchospasms and airway narrowing are inevitable and imminent, so I play defense early and often.