15 answers

Infant Was Exposed to Flu

My husband has had flu symptoms for 4 days. I'm concerned for my 8 mo old, Makai. Neither him nor I have gotten the flu vaccine. I'm sleeping next to my hubby and taking care of him, then taking care of Makai. How dangerous is the flu to an infant? I just noticed Makai's got diarrhea, but no other symptoms. When should I take him in if I think he's caught it?

How many families out there have been through an illness without EVERYONE in the house getting sick?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

A few moms I know have been in the same situation. They are on momslikeme.com/twincities
You can search for their threads and posts. There are many postings about this flu deal on that site.

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Kids are going to be exposed to flu no matter how hard you try to keep them unexposed. Your 4 year old could bring it home without symptoms. I have to say that my now 16 year now was exposed alot to flu and colds but never got a single one of them. He did get a cold that turned into pneumonia when none of us at home had a single symptom. All you do is wash your hands and his hands on a regular basis. Not exposing him to normal everyday germs is even worse for your child because they won't build up an immunity to them. I would get him the latest flu/H1N1 shot and pray for the best.

A few moms I know have been in the same situation. They are on momslikeme.com/twincities
You can search for their threads and posts. There are many postings about this flu deal on that site.

The Flu can mean many things, the swine flu's major events are fever and resparitory distress (coughing, sneezing, discharge), usually no vomiting or diarrhea. Most people think flu means diarrhea and vomiting. Unless tested to be sure is the swine flu, was your hubby just sick?

I know a child under 6 months cannot get the h1n1 vax, but over? not sure? I would call the local health department.

I'm sure that most of my family had it (everyone except me) last month. A lot of doctors aren't even testing for it anymore, saying that it is just another flu. Anyone with a secondary condition is more at risk. I just had to watch for the warning signs but my kids (and hubby) all recovered fine with just some Tylenol and Motrin for their fevers (101.5 was the highest) and bodyaches. Their coughs though stuck around until just recently. I was even sleeping next to my husband and didn't get it. It depends upon the person and their immune system I guess. I forgot to add too that I take Vitamin D supplements and that is supposed to help fight off influenza. There is something called Just D available for kids too I think.

You've gotten some great advice. I just wanted to post another few tips on here for you and others that read it. As a hospital RN we are discouraging people from "going in" unless absolutely necessary. I KNOW it sounds wrong but aside from Tamiflu (which unfortunately our pharmacies around my metro area are running low on their supplies of) there is not much treatment that you cannot do at home.

It is frustrating to see people waiting in the Emergency or Urgent Care departments, some healthy even, all being exposed/exposing others just to hear: Go home and stay home; Rest; Drink your fluids; Take Tylenol for Fevers; Take Ibuprofen for body aches; Do not expose others by going to work ( we are telling people 7 days or 24 hours after last fever AFTER 7 days!).

You may not all get it and it may not be as severe as someone else had it in the family. But do your hand hygiene and stay home to relax as much as possible. In case of emergency due to shortness of breath, febrile seizures etc. obviously call the ambulance or get a clinic appointment but cover your cough and wash your hands!

I first off wouldn't have slept in the same room as your husband and would have stayed clear away from him.

I had the swine flu last week according to the nurse I talked to over the phone and I was prescribed tamiflu I was sick 5 days. My 12mo.old started out with diarreha, vomitting, coughing and that's about it. She had no other symptoms and can't talk so it's not clear how she felt exactly but she was crabby etc. I didn't take her to the dr. because we didn't have the need to. If she had the flu she rebounded nicely.

My 8yr.old had the same thing minus the cough and rebounded in less than 24 hours.

If this was the swine flu like the nurse on the phone thought it was it hit me the hardest, my baby mild, and my 8yr.old lightly.I think it's different in every person.

***Most influenza flu's donot have diarreha or vomitting BUT... the swine flu does it's part of the symptom list and my kiddos and I had it***That was the only symptom with a low grade fever that my 8year old had. Whereas I had every darn symptom on the list.

Most doctors are recommending the following to cut down the spread of flu: Everyone in the house should wash hands, or carry hand sanitizer and use it before picking up your son.

Most importantly have your husband wear a mask (at all times, even bedtime) until he's no longer sick (doesn't have a fever and no draining or coughing) to cut down chances of him giving it to you or your son. And for the rest of flu season, anyone who is ill should wear a mask.

Keep bedding washed, used tissues in the trash right away.
Clean countertops, knobs, wipe or spray toys and any surfaces the baby will come in contact with disinfectant as much as possible.

Make sure your son eats and sleeps well so his immune system is optimum.

There are no guarantees no one else will get sick, but these precautions do help.

Last year our daughter had influenza, and was the only one, out of nine, to get it!

H1N1 can be dangerous for children, but the seasonal flu can also be dangerous. Here is a good website with a lot of info: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm. If he gets a fever and vomiting, I would call the doctor in the morning. If he gets any of these signs listed below, take him to the ER:
What are the emergency warning signs?
In children

•Fast breathing or trouble breathing
•Bluish skin color
•Not drinking enough fluids
•Not waking up or not interacting
•Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
•Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
•Fever with a rash

I would consider getting a flu shot next year.

My 2 1/2 year old got the H1N1 3 weeks ago, and it took him about a week to bounce back after being put on Tamiflu. My husband, 4 month old and I were all around him during that time and we never got it (my hubby is the only one that's had the vaccine). I think the hand-washing, lysol spraying advice is good, but I'd add prayer to the list too!!! :)

My son (who is almost 5 months old) and I both got H1N1 last week. Our symptoms were coughing, mild fever and my son had a little diarrhea one day. We went to the doctor and they tested us both. They gave him a tylenol dose and tamiflu and I got tamiflu. It has been a little over a week since we found out what we had and we are both still coughing pretty bad. Thank goodness neither of us had to go to the hospital. But this flu does take a while to get out of your system.

I would say watch for a fever (I called the dr when his temp was a little over 101) and a cough for H1N1. And if it makes you feel better get your child checked by a docter, I always feel better knowing that his doctor looked at him just for a piece of mind.

are you nursing? if you are nursing then chances are higher that he wont get anything significant. if he does get it, there most likely will be a fever - dont panic - even up to 104 its scary but helpful - fever means his body is fighting infection..... if the fever responds to tylenol or ibuprofen, then its fine. if it stops responding to medicine, you might want to call the doctor.

ALSO: this is VERY important when it comes to illness: what is important when your child is sick is how hes acting rather than how hes feeling. if hes absolutly lethargic, doesnt want to move, doesnt want to drink (its common for sick kids to not want to eat), doesnt want to interact, be concerned. if a kid with a 104 fever still plays a little with toys, wants to sit up and see you and is still drinking and TRYING to act normal, then its probably not as big of a deal. you've got red flags that will go off if its a big deal. just keep liquids flowing, and try to stay rested. this isnt the time for a big all day shopping trip or anything like that. if you can help it, just stay home and rest and let him rest, you know? :) i was just sick at the same time as my son (whos almost 3) and it was really hard - my husband had to stay home and take care of him. it sucked that he had to miss work you know! but if i had just rested more .... LOL. i would have been ok.

anyawy,
just take it easy! :)

We also just went through this. My 4yo son managed to get H1N1, and my daughter caught Group A strep. I was worried about our almost 6-month old as she has not been able to get the regular or H1N1 flu shots. We all just kept washing our hands, and I disinfected everything!! No one else has had flu symptoms, so thankfully we are good that way. I did end up taking the baby in only because she had a fever and a mild cough, but she only had a virus. I stay at home with my kids, so i was worried bout the spread. I guess if you wash hands a lot it really helps keep it at bay. Good luck.

Last week both of my kids got the flu and the doctor said it was probably H1N1 but never confirmed with a test. My daughter got it first and had 101 fever and bad cough.

At that time my 3 yo son did not have it but they suggested he not go to daycare because he was exposed. They also prescribed Tamiflu for my son (just in case) because of his asthma but specifically told me not to give it to him until the first signs of a fever. Well he did start getting a low grade fever 3 days later. I gave him the Tamiflu and by that night he had the same high fever and cough. Amazingly the Tamiflu worked great though and he had no fever by the time I checked him in the middle of the night.

Both my kids had relapses after getting better also. However, my son (who took Tamiflu) was only sick 3 days while my daughter was sick for 6. This whole time I was pretty much quarantined to my home (my husband was out of the country) and constantly exposed to both of them. There was tons of handwashing and Lysol spraying but it was impossible to not end up being sneezed or coughed on directly. Surprising though, I did not get sick. I did have a cough like them but no fever...who knows??

So to sum up (sorry for the long post)
1) Just because you are exposed does not mean you will get it. Although in children I think it is more likely.
2) Tamiflu did work well even though I have seen some posts on the internet saying it doesn't work for H1N1.
3)I would call the doctor's help line to find out first if your child does get sick will they prescribe Tamiflu to an infant that young. Tamiflu, although was very helpful to my son, can also have pretty scary side effects (which luckily my son didn't experience). Just make sure you are informed and weigh the risks.

This year you need to make sure that it isn't swine flu instead of just regular. I just got over going through almost 2 weeks of it. I went to the doctor when I wasn't getting over it and was told that had I come in within the first 24 hours of symptoms, I could have been given something to make it much shorter and easier. My daughter in law is pregnant and was exposed to the swine flu and her doctor put her on some meds to keep her from getting it. My advice would be for the hubby to be checked for swine flu and your son vaccinated if he doesn't show any symptoms but if he does, get him in within 24 hours if the first big sign.

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