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Is influenza dangerous for small children?

(22 Posts)
handlemecarefully Mon 10-Nov-03 21:43:02

I'm not talking about a bad cold, I mean the real thing i.e. high fever & delirium, muscular aches and pains, headache etc. I know that the flu can be serious in the elderly, but are small children at risk too? (My dd is 15 months).

DH is exhibiting early signs of flu - wondering whether to quarantine him from dd (and me). Wouldn't be as difficult as it sounds since he works long hours....

handlemecarefully Mon 10-Nov-03 21:44:27

Although - I guess he won't be at work if his symptoms develop further. Could always banish him to the spare room though!

Jimjams Mon 10-Nov-03 22:00:42

Don't know but my 22 month old has it at the moment as does my 4 year old. DS2 is getting a bit croupy and both boys temps are stupidly high but I think (hope) unless there are added complications such as asthma they should be fine at these ages (wouldn't think it would be good for a baby under 6 months).

Think its hard to quarantine in the same house- it's pretty infectious. DS1 picked it up from nursery, ds2 from ds1.

princesspeahead Mon 10-Nov-03 22:22:59

don't want to be a scaremonger but there is a horrid flue going around at the moment that is killing small babies and children. develops into a very nasty pneumonia. I'd try and keep him away from dd as much as possible and make sure both are seen by doctors if they are at all chesty. i'm sure it will all be fine but better to be safe than sorry....

codswallop Mon 10-Nov-03 22:27:36

I have had pneumonia - grim - look out for sweating...

handlemecarefully Tue 11-Nov-03 08:43:17

OMG - am seriously worried now. Only thing for it is to get dh put down humanely before he passes it on to precious dd.

Hope your boys get better soon jimjams.

About the flu developing into pneumonia thingy - I was just mentioning this to a colleague and she said she saw something on GMTV and a few babies have died - which of course is tragic - but it was vulnerable babies (underweight, premature other underlying medical conditions). This of course doesn't make it any less tragic for the parents but from a selfish perspective, my dd wouldn't be in a high risk category.

Still stressing however. Still - better to be forewarned and vigilant / on the look out

katierocket Tue 11-Nov-03 08:51:21

stating the obvious but make sure she gets loads and loads of vitamin C

fio2 Tue 11-Nov-03 09:28:00

my dd developed pneumonia in winter 2001 from the flu. It is horrible but quite rare, there were a few little ones who had developed the same but its not very common. She made a full recovery btw

handlemecarefully Tue 11-Nov-03 09:40:25

Glad to hear it fio2 (i.e. that she made a full recovery) - you must have been worried sick at the time though. How old was she when she went down with it, and how did you spot that it was pneumonia?

janh Tue 11-Nov-03 11:51:43

There is an article in the Guardian today here by someone whose husband developed pneumonia following a bad cold/flu. It has some very useful information and a summary at the bottom of the different symptoms etc of various chest conditions.

This bit is particularly interesting - I hadn't heard about this before:

"In fact, this winter's victims of flu are luckier than last: for the first time a new anti-viral drug, Tamiflu, will be properly available. And although it's people in the vulnerable groups who are highest priority for these drugs, it's likely, says Oxford, that anyone like Gary who turned up with a bad dose of flu that looked like it wasn't getting better on day three or four would probably get a prescription. What that means is that, even if our doctor's receptionist was right last year to say there was no point in bothering the doctor with flu on day four, it certainly would be worthwhile this year. (In fact, the moral of the tale is to never, ever, base your decision about whether to consult a doctor on the receptionist's hunch.)"

misdee Tue 11-Nov-03 11:56:05

my dh caught flu last year and they think thats what kicked off his heart condition.

handlemecarefully Tue 11-Nov-03 12:01:15

Thanks really helpful janh

Sorry to hear that Misdee

princesspeahead Tue 11-Nov-03 12:06:25

my big, healthy, robust dh got pneumonia last christmas for no apparent reason - was very ill - which is why I'm a bit wary of colds and flu where people feel much worse than they should IYKWIM...

misdee Tue 11-Nov-03 12:11:51

dh started out with flu, docs said he was faking it, he was getting weaker, so dashed him off to a+e as he was complaining of chest pains, he gets freaked out cos he is in resus 1. junior doc thinks her hads collasped lung so sends him for x-ray. they reliese his heart is twice the size it should be, firtunatly the doc on A+E is the heart specialist, did an echo, told us what it was and all the odds etc. not good, whisked him off to cardio ward where he spent the next 2 weeks not being allowed to move. today he is still on 10pills a day, regular blood tests, check ups, echos, ecg's etc. which is why last week when dd2 was ill, with flu like symptons they picked up an odd sound on her heart i started to panic. she is having to go back to docs today for another check up to see whats going on.

handlemecarefully Tue 11-Nov-03 13:05:59

Sounds like you went through hell Misdee.

I feel like an expert on flu and pneumonia now - after the advice on this thread and doing a bit of a search on the net.....

Have bored my office colleagues with the subject all morning!

katierocket Tue 11-Nov-03 13:08:11

god misdee that's awful.
poor you and poor dh

honeybunny Sat 15-Nov-03 13:11:34

Poor you Misdee, and your kiddies. Sounds awful.

We have just got over all 4 of us being ill(ds1=3, ds2=19mo). Flu all round followed up with acute bronchitist. Still on steroids, anti-biotics and inhalers now. That on top of pneumonia last year for the 2 boys, fortunately that time dh and I were fine. Feel we've had more than our fair share of illnesses. Still dont know why we seem to attract the chesty stuff cos none of us are asthmatic. Lets hope it stays that way too.

Fingers crossed that we are all steadily getting better, but this current flu bug is a bugger!!

misdee Sat 15-Nov-03 14:09:28

dd2 was seen this week by the gp, who has referred back to hospital to see a cardiologist. i keep telling myself its probably just a murmur, but know that it may be something more. gonna ask about flu jabs for both my kids this week.

miriamw Sat 15-Nov-03 14:26:23

We're just getting over a bad dose of flu, but dh seems to have escaped - Dr thinks that previous flu jabs have helped him - he usually gets one each year through work though hadn't had this year's one yet. This one is vile - ds1 (2.7) still low after 2 weeks, ds2 (6m) better but still had to have loads of tests as had persistant high fever, blood in urine etc - apparently all down to flu: no infections present.

If you can quarantine then do. DS1 caught it first, but no way could I hold him in quarantine...Fortunately my 2 are usually very healthy - would hate to see a weaker child get it.

KMS Sat 15-Nov-03 23:38:08

also sorry to worry you but a local girl has recently died from a "strong strain of viral influenza" she was nearly 4yrs. the nursery she was at was shut down as 4 other children and 2 staff were also developing similar symptoms. they have said that children get this bug every winter, and are investigating if there was any other underlying causes. They have recomended flu vaccine for the other staff and pupils at the nursery.

2under2 Sun 16-Nov-03 08:25:46

dd2 is a high risk patient (repaired heart defect, poor immune system) but the GP said he wasn't sure whether to recommend the vaccination for her or not, and neither her paediatrician nor cardiologist ever mentioned it. She had the 'real' flu before at 10 months old and whilst she was pretty poorly did not need to be hospitalised. I get the impression that whilst the flu can and does kill some small children, the vast majority of flu victims are elderly. It's just one of those things I guess - after all, even chicken pox kills a handful of people every year.

misdee Sun 16-Nov-03 08:39:06

2under2, my dh has a heart condition and has been told he should have the jabs. mind u his heart condition was possible caused by the flu.

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