Influenza, or the flu, is more dangerous in children than the common cold. According to the CDC, the United States is above the peak we were at in the 2013/2014 season, and the number increases as winter continues.
With the danger of H3N2 and other strains of influenza, it’s important to know how to protect your child from getting the flu.
- Remind your child to wash their hands with soap and water.
- Remind your child to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze.
- To avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
- Stay at home if your child is sick.
How is the Flu Spread Among Children?
The flu is highly contagious, especially for children who spend time in school classrooms. The flu is spread several ways, including:
- A child inhales infected droplets in the air
- Sharing school supplies, such as pens and pencils with an infected child
- Coming in direct contact with an infected person’s secretions
Flu Symptoms in Children
While symptoms of influenza can mimic those of a cold, flu symptoms are often more severe and worsen during the first two or three days. Common symptoms of the flu include:
- A high-grade fever
- Chills with a fever
- Painful body aches
- Stomach pain and vomiting
- Hacking cough
Treating Influenza in Children
If you suspect your child may have the flu, contact your doctor immediately.
Some treatments for children with the flu include:
- Over-the-counter medications such as Acetaminophen
- Antiviral medications for high-risk patients.
- Getting plenty of rest.
- Drinking fluids.