With flu season upon us, it is important to keep our children healthy. Children are two to three times more likely than adults to get sick with the flu, and on average, one in three children in the U.S. is affected by the virus each year.
Usually, the flu is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Occasionally, people get the flu from touching a germ-infested surface.
It is important to know the difference between cold and flu. Common symptoms of the flu include high fever, severe headache, muscle and body aches, chills, sore throat, exhaustion and dry cough. Children may also have nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Often cold symptoms come on gradually and they include stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat and hacking cough.
You can reduce the risk of your child getting the flu by:
· According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent your child from getting the flu is to take him/her to get a flu vaccine.
· Talk to you child about practicing good health habits, such as:
- Washing hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Covering mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing-preferably into the inside of the elbow or with a tissue and disposing of the tissue immediately into the trash
- Avoiding sharing drinks, water bottles, eating utensils and cell phones
- Avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with their hands
· You can help prevent the flu from spreading at home by disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, toys, and commonly shared items.
· You can prevent spreading illness to others by keeping your sick children home from school until they have been without fever for 24 hours. It is important for your sick child to get rest and drink plenty of fluids.
For more information on the flu, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/