Childr Health Information

Suggestions for follow-up care for a viral illness

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Topic: Diseases & Conditions

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about home care of a viral illness. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand.

The doctor believes your child has a viral illness. Antibiotics will not make a viral illness go away or “be cured.” There are several things that you can do to make your child more comfortable. Doctors recommend that you should treat the symptoms and allow the virus to “run its course.” Here are several recommendations to make your child more comfortable during a viral illness:
1. Offer clear liquids to your child often, such as: Pedialyte®, water, diluted Kool-Aid®, diluted apple juice, Jello®, 7-Up®, Sprite®, weak tea, bouillon, broth or popsicles. Avoid milk products, as these may upset the stomach.
2. Do not force solid foods on your child. It is common for a child with a viral illness to lose his or her appetite, so offer clear liquids. Your child’s appetite should return as he or she gets better.
3. Your child should rest in bed or other comfortable place.
4. Give any prescribed medications as directed by the doctor, but realize that antibiotics will not shorten a viral illness.
5. You can give acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) for fever or muscle aches.
6. Do not give aspirin or aspirin-containing products to children.
7. Wash your own and your child’s hands frequently. Your child can pass his or her illness on to you. Handwashing decreases this possibility.

Contact your child’s doctor if your child appears to be getting worse in any way, if your child has a fever greater than 104°F or if the illness lasts longer than three days. Contact your doctor if your child is vomiting, which can lead to dehydration, especially in infants. Call doctor for decreased urine output (decreased wet diapers).


Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1995, 2000, 2003

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1995, 2000, 2003


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