Flu Prevention

FLU

Prevention, prevention, prevention. Like location in real estate, prevention is the biggest key to avoiding illness. Everybody gets sick once in a while, but if you knew you and your family were getting sick more often than you really had to, wouldn’t that make you annoyed? -The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccination. We’ve talked about that before in greater detail here. The flu shot is recommended for most children six months old and older. -Keep your hands and areas clean. Washing your hands and your child’s hands frequently with soap and water will help, and carry disinfectant gel for both of you to use when you’re out and about. -Cold and flu viruses can live on surfaces for several hours, so keep in mind that an uncleaned surface could contain viruses. Wipe down counters, tables and other frequently touched items like doorknobs, light switches and especially TV remotes! -Keep your hands off your face. Hands go everywhere and you can’t get through life without touching something occasionally. But did you know that most people touch their face several thousand times a day? So be conscious that every time you touch your face, you have the potential to transmit viruses closer to your mouth, nose and eyes. Most children who contract the flu will recover in a few days, though they’ll feel pretty achy and icky for a while. Consult with your doctor; in some cases medication is not needed, and in others they may recommend a little acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Make sure that your child is fever-free for at least 24 hours (without medication) before sending them back to school or daycare to ensure they’ve really beat the bug. If your child has flu, don’t ask the doctor for antibiotics--they only work on bacterial infections, and the flu is a virus. Cold and flu medications are generally not meant for use in very young children. If in doubt, ask your doctor before using a medication. Warm compresses and a humidifier (clean it out first to avoid bacteria and mold) can help with body aches and a stuffy nose. Warm drinks and soup can also help clear out mucus. Mostly, a lot of TLC will help your little one get through being sick When should you contact a doctor? -High fevers over 102 that persist despite pediatrician-recommended treatment. -If your child is having difficulty breathing. Flu can sometimes develop into pneumonia and your doctor will need to run some test and possibly order a chest X-Ray to confirm. -Severe sore throat. It might not be flu or a cold; it could be strep which generally requires more aggressive treatment. -A persistent cough can also be the sign of another illness developing, like pneumonia or whooping cough. Whooping cough has been going around in Texas lately; you can hear its distinctive sound here: http://www.pkids.org/diseases/pertussis.html As always, Impact Urgent Care is open daily from 8-8 to help you with these and any other medical concerns. We look forward to seeing you in our virtual queue. What’s your favorite remedy when your kids are sick? For more info, check out these resources: http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-protect-your-family-from-colds-and-fl... http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4070.pdf http://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler/ask-heidi/how-to-stop-the-flu-from-s... http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/chronichealth_fluguide_... http://children.webmd.com/features/flu-kids-aches?page=2 http://www.divinecaroline.com/self/wellness/test-your-germ-smarts Photo credit: elana's pantry / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND Photo credit: Matteo Bagnoli / Foter / CC BY