Reminder: Flu season is here; know what to do and consider a flu vaccine

flu season signFlu, or influenza, spreads easily and can make people very sick, especially children.

As a reminder, flu symptoms include: Fever or chills, body aches, cough, sore throat, headache, runny or stuffy nose, feeling very tired. Some people, especially children, may have stomach problems and diarrhea. Unlike a cold, the flu comes on very suddenly.

Prevent flu: 

• Flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu. It’s recommended every year for everyone six months and older.
• Consider getting the flu vaccine for you and your children every year, It helps make flu sickness milder or prevents it all together
• Getting the vaccine early in the fall means you and your children will be protected when flu season starts.
• Ask people close to your children, like babysitters and relatives, to consider getting the vaccine, too.
• The vaccine is especially important for people with certain health conditions, like asthma, diabetes, heart or lung conditions because the flu can make them even sicker

 If your child gets the flu:

• Your child will need plenty of rest and lots of fluids.
• Keep your child home from school for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without using fever-control medicine. This helps avoid giving the flu to others.
• Talk with your child’s health care provider before giving a child any over the-counter medicine.
• Never give your child or teenager aspirin or any medicine that has aspirin in it. • If your child gets flu symptoms and is younger than age 5 or has a medical condition like asthma, diabetes, or heart or lung disease, call their health care provider. Young children and those with certain medical conditions are at greater risk for getting seriously ill from the flu. Ask their health care provider if they recommend an antiviral drug.
• If you are worried about your child, call their health care provider.

Don’t spread flu 

• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• If soap and water aren’t handy, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, not your hands. Put used tissues in the trash.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. That’s how germs spread.
• Stay away from people who are sick.

 To learn more:

Everyday Preventive Actions Can Help Fight Germs, Like Flu

The Flu: A Guide for Parents