- What You Should Know About A Decreased Fluid Intake:
- Eating less solids during an illness is normal.
- Drinking less fluids is not.
- So far, your child does not have any signs of dehydration.
- Here are some tips to help increase fluid intake.
- Fluids - Offer More:
- Age less than 1 year: keep giving formula or breast milk. You can also try ORS (such as Pedialyte).
- Age more than 1 year: offer chocolate or regular milk, fruit drinks, juice or water. You can also try popsicles.
- The type of fluid doesn't matter, as it does with diarrhea or vomiting.
- Solid Foods - Less Important:
- Don't worry about solid food intake.
- It's normal not to feel hungry or want to eat when sick.
- Preventing dehydration is the only thing that is important.
- Sore Mouth Treatment:
- If the mouth is sore, give cold drinks.
- Do not use citrus juices.
- For babies, offer fluids in a cup, spoon or syringe rather than a bottle. Reason: the nipple may increase pain.
- To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol). Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil). Use as needed.
- Liquid Antacid for Mouth Pain (Age 1 Year and Older):
- For mouth pain, use a liquid antacid (such as Mylanta or the store brand). Give 4 times per day as needed. After meals often is a good time.
- Age 1 to 6 years. Put a few drops in the mouth. Can also put it on with a cotton swab.
- Age over 6 years. Use 1 teaspoon (5 mL) as a mouth wash. Keep it on the ulcers as long as possible. Then can spit it out or swallow it.
- Caution: do not use regular mouth washes, because they sting.
- Nasal Saline to Open a Blocked Nose:
- Use saline (salt water) nose spray to loosen up the dried mucus. If you don't have saline, you can use a few drops of water. Use distilled water, bottled water or boiled tap water.
- Step 1. Put 3 drops in each nostril. If under 1 year old, use 1 drop.
- Step 2. Blow (or suction) each nostril out while closing off the other nostril. Then, do the other side.
- Step 3. Repeat nose drops and blowing (or suctioning) until the discharge is clear.
- How Often. Do nasal saline rinses when your child can't breathe through the nose.
- Limit. If under 1 year old, no more than 4 times per day or before every feeding.
- Saline nose drops or spray can be bought in any drugstore. No prescription is needed.
- Saline nose drops can also be made at home. Use ½ teaspoon (2 mL) of table salt. Stir the salt into 1 cup (8 ounces or 240 mL) of warm water. Use bottled water or boiled water to make saline nose drops.
- Reason for nose drops: suction or blowing alone can't remove dried or sticky mucus. Also, babies can't nurse or drink from a bottle unless the nose is open.
- Other option: use a warm shower to loosen mucus. Breathe in the moist air, then blow each nostril.
- For young children, can also use a wet cotton swab to remove sticky mucus.
- For Shortness of Breath - Give Smaller Feedings:
- For trouble breathing, feed more often. Feed every ½ hour.
- Offer smaller amounts per feeding.
- Reason: this allows your baby to rest in between feedings.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Trouble swallowing gets worse
- Signs of dehydration occur
- Poor drinking lasts more than 3 days
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.