The flu can make your child sick for over a week, but Web MD suggests that you can treat most cases of the flu at home. The most common advice you’ll hear from a doctor is that your child should have “lots of rest and lots of fluids.” Naturally, you might wonder what types of drinks are the best when your child has the flu.
A child with the flu is often losing a lot of water — vomiting and diarrhea are common flu symptoms, and a fever might cause intense sweating. Thus, you want to look for drinks that can keep your child hydrated. Drinks that contain caffeine, such as many sodas, coffee or hot chocolate, may cause your child to become more dehydrated.
Hot or Cold
It doesn’t matter whether your serve hot or cold drinks to your child. If one of his symptoms is a sore throat, something warm like herbal tea with honey may soothe his throat. However, some children prefer cold drinks for a sore throat. It’s best to follow his preference in order to get him to drink more.
Water is a clear winner when it comes to keeping your child hydrated when he has the flu. If she doesn’t drink water regularly and doesn’t like the taste, you can add a sugar-free flavor enhancer. Your doctor may also suggest using an oral rehydration drink, which provides electrolytes as well as hydration.
Fruit juices may seem like a natural choice because they often contain the disease-fighting vitamin C, but they may cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. If you are going to give your child some juice, Medline Plus suggests diluting it with water.
Drinks as Meals
With the upset stomach that often accompanies the flu, your child may not be able to keep down solid foods. When he’s ready to eat, a Popsicle or a broth-based soup may be the right thing to ease him back into it.