Flu prevention in children is important
2018 marks 100 years since the Great Flu Pandemic that sickened one-third of all people across the globe. Much has changed since that horrible flu season, in which 675,000 Americans died. Yet, modern strains of flu still pose a severe health threat. In fact, the CDC reports that 80,000 Americans died during the 2017-2018 flu season.
In many people, flu is a respiratory illness that lasts a week or two. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, coughing, runny nose and fatigue. However, our Plano pediatricians know that flu complications can quickly become deadly. Very young children and those with long-term illnesses can be especially hard-hit.
Tips for flu prevention in children
The most important thing that our Plano pediatricians recommend for flu prevention in children is getting vaccinated. The flu vaccine is safe, and it is formulated each year to prevent the most prevalent strains of influenza. Because the strains of flu are constantly changing, it is important to receive the vaccine every year. Even if you contract a strain different than those specifically targeted by the vaccine, the vaccine may make your illness less severe.
Aside from vaccination, you can prevent the flu in other ways.
- Hand-washing after touching objects or using the bathroom
- Regularly disinfecting toys, countertops and other commonly touched surfaces
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Staying home from work or keeping your child home from school when sick
- Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
If you believe your child has come down with the flu, make sure he or she gets plenty of fluids and rest. Monitor his or her temperature and symptoms, and if you become concerned, contact our office. To prevent your child from passing the flu along, keep him or her home from school until your child has been fever-free without medication for 24 hours.
In 1918, there was no flu vaccine. Today, our Plano pediatricians are much better prepared for flu prevention in children. Vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and keep your family safe this flu season.
For more information about the flu vaccine, or to schedule your child’s vaccination, please contact our office.