The flu (more formally known as influenza) is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. While the flu has the potential to affect any age group, children are often more susceptible due to their time around other children. The flu is highly contagious, and outbreaks from small to large are commonplace. If you live in the United States, you will likely see most cases of the flu occur between late December and early March. The flu typically lasts around five days, although lingering symptoms are normal for a week or two after. Flu symptoms are often mistaken for the common cold, although the flu holds the potential to be much more serious. If you suspect that your child has the flu, it’s very important to see a doctor as soon as possible, especially if conditions worsen. Certain medical conditions can cause serious complications with the flu.
Offer plenty of fluids (It’s important to avoid dehydration, as this condition can worsen the flu). If your child is having difficulty drinking water, try popsicles, blending up some of their favorite juice or fruit with ice, and smoothies
Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce aches and pains (do not give aspirin unless it has been recommended by your doctor)
To avoid the contraction of the flu, flu vaccines are option for many children. Flu vaccines do not prevent all strains of illness, but they can help prevent sickness when paired with a healthy immune system, nutritious diet & regular sleep patterns, and steady/low stress levels. Our office strongly recommends flu vaccinations for all our children over 6 months of age
Drink plenty of water
Disinfect your hands and home surfaces frequently
Keep your distance if someone is sick (coughing, sneezing, etc.)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Common cold symptoms may include a sore throat, runny nose, persistent cough, slight fever, and congestion. While the flu can include all of these symptoms, flu sufferers may also feel very tired, have headaches, achy muscles, high fever, and possibly chills. Pneumonia is an uncommon but worrisome complication of influenza. Please call our office immediately for any concerns.
Think your child may be sick? Use this helpful assesment guideline if you think your child has the flu.