As we welcome cooler weather here in Augusta, we also begin to welcome a more unwanted visitor, the flu (influenza). Flu season can be a tough time for families as work and school both present opportunities for contagion. While we hope neither you or your child become sick with the flu, we want to provide some tips for caring for your child if they do end up sick this school year.
Things to Know About the Flu
Flu infections are highly contagious. The respiratory illness is caused by a virus. It spreads easily when children are in a group with other children such as in a child care center, score, or family child care home. Flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children. It can lead to serious health conditions like pneumonia or bacterial infections, which can worsen to the point of needing hospitalization
The flu vaccine is the best way to protect against getting the flu. We recommend that everyone aged 6 months and older gets a flu vaccine each year. If your child is younger than 6 months, we recommend having all adults and children who are around them vaccinated to help prevent the spread in your home. We already have our flu vaccines! Call our office at 706-868-0389 to schedule an appointment for one of our upcoming flu clinics. We have Saturday appointments available.
Prevent the Spread of Germs
We recommend frequent hand washing and sanitizing of high-contact surfaces like door handles, light switches, and remotes. We also suggest refraining from sharing utensils, plates, and other culinary items.
What to do When the Flu Strikes
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for the flu, and unlike with a bacterial infection, antibiotics don’t have an effect on treating the virus. The best thing you can do is make your child comfortable and encourage them to get extra sleep and drink plenty of water or other liquids.
If they experience a fever, you can administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen – but not both. Always call your pediatrician before giving medicine to a child under 2 years of age and call right away if your child is under three months of age and has a fever. Follow the dosing instructions on the medication for their age and size.
If your child is suffering from a cough or sore throat, you can give them cough drops or lozenges if they are aged 4 or older. If they are between 12 months and 4 years, consider giving them a spoonful of honey, or a cold popsicle to help alleviate the pain.
While the flu can be an uncomfortable time, it will most often run its course within 4-7 days. Be sure to monitor their symptoms and report them to your pediatrician if they do not get better each day or are not all better after one week. We always want to use an abundance of caution and ensure the best outcome for your child’s health.
For questions or any other concerns, Augusta Pediatrics can be reached at (706) 868-0389. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.