Flu Season is Here. What do I do?
Flu season has officially started and although most influenza cases don’t begin to pop up till late October or early November, parents should be on the lookout for early signs and symptoms and keep children at home if they think their child is infected. As the season progresses, here are some basics every parent should know:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the single best way to avoid getting the flu is to get a vaccination. Children under 5 are most strongly urged to get a flu shot, but it’s a good idea for anyone.
Things to do at home
Washing your child’s hands thoroughly and often is one of the most important way you can prevent them from catching germs and spreading germs to others and prevent many communicable diseases. Use warm water and soap and scrub their hands for about 20 seconds. Dry their hands with a clean, disposable towel. Also, you can use an alcohol-based hand cleaner when soap and water are not available.
What if your child begins showing symptoms?
While we want to teach our kids the importance of working hard, but it’s just good sense to stay home from school or work when you’re sick, to prevent the spread of cold and flu germs. Take their temperature, and keep siblings and other family members separated from the child as much as possible. For babies, you could use our KidzStuff™ TempEze™ Elephant Romper that has specially formulated ink that turns white as your baby’s temperature starts to rise.
Also, be sure to wash your hands after every visit to the child’s room, and wash all items the child touches. Keep your child home until he or she has been symptom free for 24 hours.
If your child’s fever is high, work to control it through use of medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naprosyn (ask your pediatrician to choose which is best). After administering the proper dose for age and weight, you may provide baths at room temperature and cool compresses. Offer oral hydrating solutions such as Pedialyte if the child is vomiting. It is important to offer frequent small meals and avoid over bundling a feverish child.
When to see a doctor
Be sure to see your doctor right away if the fever persists for more than three days or in the event of frequent night awakenings due to headaches or vomiting. Remember, you know your child better than anyone, so if you are worried, visit your doctor immediately.
By following these steps you will be able to make this flu season a lot easier on yourselves.