By Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates
February 06, 2015
Tags: Flu Prevention  

Flu PreventionWith the arrival of flu this season, many parents will be watching their children closely for symptoms of this infamous virus.  The flu, also known as Influenza, is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs) which spreads easily in settings where many people are contained in close quarters such as schools and childcare,. Most children will be miserable for 7-14 days and then recover uneventfully, but some people are considered to be at higher risk for complications of the flu, like pneumonia.  The high risk groups include the elderly; pregnant women; young children ( under 2 and especially those under 6 months who can't be vaccinated); and anyone with a serious chronic health problem such as uncontrolled asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis etc. 

Flu symptoms include:

1. Rapid onset of fever (typically above 101 degrees Fahrenheit). The fever often lasts for 3-5 days, goes down for a day and then recurs for another day or two. 

2. Extreme tiredness, lack of energy and general weakness

3. Muscle aches and chills

4. Headache

5. Dry cough

6. Stuffy, runny nose                                                                                                                                                                                             

7. Other symptoms that accompany the flu may include sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea.

It is not likely that your child has Influenza if they do not have fever and a prominent cough.

Flu Prevention Tips

Of course, the best "treatment" is "prevention"!

Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu typically occur during the fall through the spring. To prevent seasonal influenza, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  and the Center for Disease Contol (CDC) recommend children receive the influenza vaccination every year starting at six months of age.  Ask a pediatrician at Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates about flu vaccination for your child..

Knowing how to identify flu symptoms and prevent it's spread will also help you protect your family.. Here are just a few tips to keep the virus away from your household.

  • COVER THAT COUGH : Teach your child the importance of coughing or sneezing into their arm or a tissue
  • Encourage your children to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to prevent germs from spreading
  • Teach your children proper and consistent hand washing
  • Avoid sharing cups, bottles and other utensils


Flu treatment

In most cases, Flu is managed the way any other viral illness is managed -symptomatically- by treating your child's symptoms to keep them comfortable and well hydrated until the virus passes. . In people who are considered to be at higher risk of complications, we may also recommend the use of a medication specifically designed to lessen the severity and duration of the flu e.g. Tamiflu. It is important to note that in order for that medication to be effective it must be started within 48 hours of the onset of the illness, so please contact us early if you suspect that your child has flu. There are even situations where we might recommend giving Tamiflu before your child has become ill. Please contact our office if you have any questions 

For more information about Influenza check out the websites of the Center for Disease Control  and the American Academy of Pediatrics