The Flu is a viral infection that includes symptoms such as: fever, headache, body aches, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, and fatigue. The Flu is very contagious because the incubation period for this virus is only 24-36 hours. We can test your child for the Flu in our office by swabbing the inside of his/her nose. There are antiviral medications that we can prescribe for your child. However, these medications are only effective if your child takes them within 48 hours from the start of symptoms. Some children can obtain super infections such as ear infections, bronchitis, or pneumonia as a result of the Flu. Therefore, we encourage you to see your pediatrician as soon as possible if your child displays any symptoms of the Flu.
Which children should get the flu vaccine? All children between the ages of 6 months and 23 months should receive the flu vaccine. Any child who has a chronic illness such as asthma should get the flu vaccine. If your child is over 2 years old and is healthy, he/she may not need the flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are usually available from October through December. You should have your child immunized as early as possible since Flu vaccine supplies are usually limited.
As always, good hand washing, good nutrition, and adequate rest will help prevent your child from getting sick.
The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is available October 1. It can be administered at an office visit. Well children from the ages of 6 months and over can consider receiving the flu vaccine. Children and adolescents 6 months of age and older with asthma, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, or other compromising disease states should receive the vaccine. It is optional for all patients. Speak to your doctor during your child’s visit for information.