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Flu in Children: How It Spreads, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention

Influenza, or the ‘flu’ is a common respiratory illness that seems to affect many people during the winter season, although many get the flu at other times of the year also. Kids seem to be more susceptible to it than adults. Now that winter has arrived, the flu season will be kicking up. You want to be prepared and know what to look out for.

Recognizing Flu Symptoms in Children

If your children suddenly come home telling you they feel awful, check for the following flu symptoms in children:

  • fever
  • chills
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat
  • tiredness
  • coughing
  • nausea or vomiting
  • not eating
  • diarrhea
  • ear pain

You may think they just have another cold, but the flu will make them sicker by far. Usually most symptoms are gone within 5 days, but a cough may linger for weeks. Don’t ignore signs of the flu as it can lead to worse complications including possibly pneumonia.

If you notice fever in children, and suspect your child has the flu, don’t hesitate to schedule a child doctor visit in Happy Valley. Pediatrix doctors are available to speak with you about how to keep your child safe and comfortable when they have the flu.

Knowing How it Spreads

Flu is highly contagious, which means if you are near anyone who has it, chances are you’ll be next. When people with the flu germ cough or sneeze, little droplets find their way into the air and are breathed in by others close by.

Touching things will also spread flu germs. Children in school will often find themselves not feeling well due to the flu. After touching doorknobs, phones, or anything in public places, you may go home not feeling so well. Because of this, hand washing is essential during the flu season.

  • Treatments: This would include plenty of bed rest, drinking lots of liquids, and staying at home. Children’s aspirin or ibuprofen can relieve fever, headaches, and muscle aches.
  • Prevention: Children are natural ‘picker-uppers’, meaning anything and everything they see they must handle. When another child with flu germs has already handled something, that germ is spread, and quickly.
  • Hand washing: Teach your children to wash their hands frequently, as hand washing is a very effective way to stop the spread of a respiratory illness.
  • Vaccinate: The flu vaccine is available for everyone over 6 months of age. Usually you start thinking about a flu vaccine in September, but you can still get a flu vaccine now.

If you have questions about possible flu symptoms in your children, be sure to contact your Pediatrix office and schedule your child a doctor visit in Happy Valley.

Posted in Blog on January 26th, 2016