September 17, 2019
School has only been back in session for a couple of weeks and your kids are already coming home with the sniffles and sore throats. Unfortunately, germs always spread quicker in the close quarters of the classroom.
At least you don’t have to worry about the flu just yet, right? Don’t give too big a sigh of relief. Flu season will soon be in full swing so you need to be ready. Typically it starts in late fall and lasts to early spring.
How do you tell the common cold from the flu? Pediatricians at Children’s Hospital of Orange County explain that when your child has a fever, chills, body aches and headaches, as well as a runny nose and cough, then it is the flu.
Right now the best way to prepare your children for flu season is to get them vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine every year for everyone 6 months of age and older.
While most healthy people do not have serious complications with the flu, there are certain groups, including older adults, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health issues, who are at greater risk for flu-related hospitalization and even death.
The flu vaccine is not recommended, however, for those who have a life-threatening allergy to the vaccine or any of its ingredients. And people with a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, an autoimmune condition which can lead to paralysis, should talk to their doctor before getting the flu vaccine.
According to the Seattle Children’s Hospital, this is also the perfect time to review good hygiene practices with your children. Remind them to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds regularly throughout the day, and to not touch their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. They should not be sharing any personal items with their siblings or friends either.
Talk to your child’s doctor now about any concerns you have about the safety and effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine.