Do You Know What
To Do For The Flu?
October through May (Most cases are seen in January or February)
At first, the flu might seem like the common cold with a runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. However, colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to hit suddenly. And even though a cold can be annoying, the flu usually makes you feel much worse.
Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:
- Aching muscles, especially in back, arms, and legs
Flu vs Cold Chart:
Chart reference: From Flumist website, adapted from “Is It a Cold or the Flu?” by National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and National Institutes of Health; November 2008. Flu viruses are airborne, which means that they travel through the air when someone who has the flu coughs, sneezes or talks. You can either breathe it in or pick up germs from contact with contaminated surfaces such as toys, door handles, telephones, computer keyboards, or anything really. Once you have had one of the strains you build up an immunity to that strain, but the problem is that strains of the flu virus change all of the time and new strains appear regularly.
In most cases, lots of rest and plenty of fluids is all you need to beat the flu. But in some cases, you may need to go to the doctor and they might prescribe an antiviral medication, which might shorten the illness by a day or so and help prevent serious complications if taken soon after symptoms first appear.
When to see a doctor:
If you have flu symptoms and have any of the risk factors (listed below),
see your doctor right away. Taking antiviral medicines within the first 2
days of the first sign of flu symptoms may help you get over the virus
Things that may increase children's chance of catching the flu include:
Age- seasonal flu tends to target young children
Environment - children in school and/or child care are more likely to come into contact with others who have the flu virus
Weak Immune System - Children who already have a weakened immune system are more susceptible to the flu virus and their body may have a harder time fighting it off on its own
Chronic Illness - Similar to weakened immune systems, chronic conditions such as asthma may increase your risk and your body may have a harder time fighting it off on its own
Wash your hands frequently! - Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds (while singing "Happy Birthday" twice or singing "ABC's" (You may use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if running water and soap aren't available) Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze! - Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your arm so you don't contaminate your hands! Disinfect surfaces regularly! (We do that here at The Learning Get the flu shot (with the approval of your pediatrician or doctor)