Prevent Your Child From Getting the Flu This Season
It’s that time of year again. Along with the shorter days and cooler temperatures, cold and flu season is back. Running until February of next year, the flu season affects many of us across the country. Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection impacting the upper respiratory system, although the whole body can be affected, too. It can affect people of all ages, making life especially miserable for children. Luckily, parents and caregivers can work to prevent their little one catching the flu by implementing these strategies.
- Understand the Flu
Be sure you know what the flu is and how it can affect your child. Many parents confuse the flu with the common cold. While the symptoms are similar, the flu will last 7 to 14 days or even up to 3 weeks. A cold should only last a couple of days. A child with the flu may feel more achy and uncomfortable and may have the fever and chills.
- Get the Flu Shot
Keep your children healthy by ensuring they have had their yearly flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone over six months have a yearly flu vaccine. If your child is receiving the shot for the first time and he/she is between 6 months and eight years old, a second follow-up vaccine is required four weeks after the first dose.
- Encourage Good Hygiene
Basic hygiene practices can go a long way in keeping the flu at bay, even when schools and playgrounds are crawling with germs. Teach your child to wash their hands often, avoid hand to face contact, never share food or cups with other kids, and use hand sanitizer when a sink and soap is not available.
- Go Outside
Keeping your kids active in fresh air can help them to stay fit and healthy throughout the season. Get the whole family outside to do chores like raking leaves or watering the plants. To enjoy nature, head out on a light hike or walk around the block after dinner to ensure your child gets enough time outdoors.
- Know When to Call the Pediatrician
Our pediatricians suggest that you give us a call if your child has difficulty breathing or it seems as if they cannot catch their breath. Don’t hesitate to call us if your child just doesn’t seem like themselves. Trust your instincts and get your child seen by a doctor.
Have the confidence that your child’s health is in good hands with the right pediatric surgeons. Contact the Pediatric Surgical Associates for all your pediatric surgical needs. Our pediatric surgeons in Orange County are experts at protecting your kids’ health and wellness!