Q: My nine-year-old just recovered from a bad bout of the flu and pneumonia that caused her to lose 10 percent of her body weight. She was very active and quite thin to begin with, so she’s having a hard time resuming her normal dancing and skating classes. Is there anything I can do to help her?
A: Your story is a reminder that flu can be very serious. With this season’s H1N1 flu, doctors are noting longer periods until complete recovery. A 10 percent weight loss in a nine-year-old is significant and it’s important you see pro-gress. Add healthy calories to her diet with snacks, such as smoothies, and try to increase her portion size. If necessary, short-term use of supplements such as PediaSure might be required. If her energy is still low after she regains the weight, or she doesn’t gain it back soon, tests may be needed to ensure her lungs have returned to normal.