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A NOTE FROM OUR NURSE ~ January 2019


If your child gets the flu     

What are flu symptoms? Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, feeling tired and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults). Some people with the flu will not have a fever.

What can I do if my child gets sick? Talk to your doctor early if you are worried about your child’s illness. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks enough fluids. If your child is 5 years or older and does not have a long term health problems and gets flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough, consult your doctor as needed. Children younger than 5 years of age – especially those younger than 2 years – and children with certain long-term health problems (including asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system), are at high risk of serious flu complications. Call your doctor or take your child to the doctor right away if they develop flu symptoms.

What if my child seems very sick? Even healthy children can get very sick from flu. If your child is experiencing the following emergency warning signs, you should go to the emergency room:

– Fast breathing or trouble breathing – Bluish or gray skin color -Not drinking enough fluids (not going to the bathroom or not 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 symptoms improve, but then return with fever and worse cough- Fever with rash

Is there a medicine to treat flu? Yes. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that can be used to treat flu illness. They can shorten your illness and make it milder, and they can prevent serious complications that could result in a hospital stay. Antivirals work best when started during the first 2 days of illness. Antiviral drugs are recommended to treat flu in people who are very sick (for example, people who are in the hospital) or people who are at high risk of serious flu complications who get flu symptoms. Antivirals can be given to children and pregnant women.

How long can a sick person spread flu to others? People with flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to up to 5 to 7 days after. Severely ill people or young children may be able to spread the flu longer, especially if they still have symptoms.

Can my child go to school, day care, or camp if he or she is sick? No. Your child should stay home to rest and to avoid spreading flu to other children or caregivers.

When can my child go back to school after having flu? Keep your child home from school, day care, or camp for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. (The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) A fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C) or higher. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/flu

Susan Quigley, RN, NCSN

February 2019 Tiger Times