The Influenza virus causes symptoms such as fever, body aches, sneezing, and coughing. The flu can last for weeks and can lead to hospitalization from complications. Protect your family this flu season!
Get the Flu Shot
The flu shot has been proven effective in 62 percent of children, and is recommended for everyone six months and older. For those who are nervous about the needle, there is a nasal spray version of the vaccine called FluMist. FluMist is available for people ages two to 49, although there are exceptions to who is eligible to receive the spray.
Avoid Close Contact
The virus spreads easily in close quarters. School children are especially susceptible. Teach your child to “cover their cough,” and to use tissues. Avoid touching your face after shaking someone’s hand, and keep your distance from those with flu symptoms.
Wash Your Hands
The virus can live on surfaces for eight hours and is often transmitted by touching infected surfaces. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating, after playing in a public place, and before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Pay close attention to children with flu symptoms, and keep them home to rest. Call your pediatrician if your child’s fever lasts more than three to four days, or if your child complains of trouble breathing, ear pain, congestion in the nose or head, or seems to be getting worse.
This column is sponsored by Owl Now Urgent Care.
column by VLAD V. ADLER, MD
About the Author: Vlad V. Adler, M.D. is a board-certified pediatrician and clinic director at Owl Now Urgent Care in Lakeland, Florida.