A viral infection in children occurs when a virus enters the body and spreads, thereby creating illness in a child. The treatment for a viral infection in children will vary according to what type of virus the child has contracted, though in all cases, the first step in treatment is recognizing the child is ill. Not all children will immediately show signs of illness, so a savvy adult will need to keep an eye on the child for behaviors that are out of the ordinary. A child may become restless, tired, cranky, or nauseated, for example.
Once the symptoms have been recognized, an adult should take the child to a doctor who can treat a viral infection in children. If the child is in school when the symptoms occur, he or she should be sent home as soon as possible or at the very least isolated from other students to prevent the spread of the illness. The sooner the child can be taken to see a doctor, the better and quicker the treatment will be. Some minor viruses can be treated with bed rest and fever-reducing drugs designed specifically for children; adult drugs should be avoided, as the dosage may be too high for a child.
A more serious viral infection in children may require more aggressive treatment. A doctor will be able to determine the best course of action for the specific virus that has been contracted. Many medications have been designed to address specific viruses, and when a doctor prescribes such medication, it is important for a parent or guardian to follow the printed directions for administering the drugs carefully to avoid overdoses or other potentially damaging issues. The medication should always be used as directed; if the prescription notes the entire bottle of pills should be finished even if the child starts to feel better, this step should be adhered to strictly. Medications should always be kept out of reach of children to prevent choking, overdose, or other potentially serious conditions.
Once the viral infection in children has passed, the immune system of the child will be fairly weakened. The child will need a steady intake of vitamins and foods rich in nutrients to help rebuild the immune system, and allowing the child to exercise will help restore the immune system as well. The child should rest until all symptoms have dissipated, which usually takes anywhere from one to three weeks.