Home     Healthy Kids     Health Guide    

It's not too late to get a flu shot

Protect your family from the dangers of the flu

According to the CDC, flu season is intensifying and the flu is widespread. Even though it is best to get vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine is available, getting the vaccine now can still be helpful. The CDC is recommending getting the flu shot if you have not yet, as there are still several weeks left to the flu season.

Protect yourself
The CDC also recommends preventive actions to take that may slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu:
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  •  If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you (or your child) stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. There should be no fever for a full 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine before a child returns to school.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  •  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
READ MORE: Asthma, the flu and your family

Know the symptoms
Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

Talk to your doctor early if you are worried about your child’s illness.Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks enough fluids. If your child is 5 years and older without long-term health problems and gets flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough, consult your doctor as needed.Children younger than 5 years of age – especially those younger than 2 years – and children with certain long-term health problems (including asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system), are at high risk of serious flu-related complications. Call your doctor or take your child to the doctor right away if they develop flu symptoms.

READ MORE: Should your child get a flu shot?

What if my child seems very sick?
Even healthy children can get very sick from flu. If your child is experiencing the following emergency warning signs, you should go to the emergency room.

Emergency warning signs of flu:
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids (not going to the bathroom or not making as much urine as they normally do)
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with rash

For more information on how the flu spreads and what to do if your child gets the flu, click HERE.