For the Flu Season: Our School Nurses Help Your Family Stay Healthy With Easy-To-Follow Tips
What are some ways I can protect my child against the flu?
In addition to getting vaccinated, take — and encourage your child to take — everyday steps that can help prevent the spread of germs. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming ill:
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw tissues in the trash after you use them.
- Stay away from people who are ill.
- Wash 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.
- If someone in the household is ill, try to keep them in a separate room, if possible.
- Keep bedside tables, bathroom and kitchen counters, and toys for children clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.
- Throw away tissues and other disposable items used by sick persons in your household in the trash.
- These everyday steps are a good way to reduce your chances of getting all sorts of illnesses, but vaccination is always the best way to specifically prevent flu.
Even children who have always been healthy or had the flu before can get a severe case of flu.
Call for emergency care or take your child to a doctor right away if your child of any age has any of the following warning or emergency signs:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing.
- Bluish or gray skin color.
- Not drinking enough fluids (not going to the bathroom or 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-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and a worsening cough.
- Has other conditions (like heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma) and develops flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough.
Keep your child home from school, day care or camp for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. (Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) A fever is defined as an oral temperature exceeding 101°F.