Flu season has begun, and it is important to take steps to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Flu, or influenza, spreads easily and can make people very sick, especially kids.
Following is important information from the state Department of Health:
Flu symptoms include:
Fever or chills, body aches, cough, sore throat, headache, runny or stuffy nose, feeling very tired. Some people, especially children, may have stomach problems and diarrhea. Unlike a cold, the flu comes on very suddenly.
Prevent the flu!
- Flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu. It is recommended every year for everyone 6 months and older.
- Get the flu vaccine for you and your children every year! It helps make flu sickness milder or prevents it altogether.
- Getting the vaccine early in the fall means you and your children will be
- protected when flu season starts.
- Ask people close to your children, like babysitters and relatives, to get the vaccine, too.
- The vaccine is especially important for people with certain health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart or lung conditions because the flu can make them even sicker.
If your child gets the flu:
- Your child will need plenty of rest and lots of fluids.
- Keep your child home from school for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without using fever-control medicine. This helps avoid giving the flu to others.
- Talk with your child’s health care provider before giving a child any over-the-counter medicine.
- Never give your child or teenager aspirin or any medicine that has aspirin in it. Aspirin can cause serious problems.
- If your child gets flu symptoms and is younger than 5 or has a medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, or heart or lung disease, call their health care provider. Young children and those with certain medical conditions are at greater risk for getting seriously ill from the flu. Ask their health care provider if they recommend an antiviral drug.
- If you are worried about your child, call their health care provider.
Don’t spread the flu!
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water aren’t handy, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, not your hands. Put used tissues in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. That’s how germs spread.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
For more information, visit The Flu: A Guide for Parents on our website.