The flu season is quickly approaching, and your children are most at risk for the virus. Children will be the first in any city or town to get sick with the flu. Children are also more likely than their parents to get the flu when they are exposed. And if you get the flu, it will likely be because you were in contact with your children as they are the ones who are most to blame for passing along the virus.
Getting the flu is no fun, regardless of your age. The flu will make you feel lousy and children can suffer additional symptoms in addition to the coughing, fever and aches including stomach pain and earaches. In addition, children younger than the age of five are at a high risk for serious flu complications. Some of these complications can be serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.
The flu is a big deal and should be treated as such. To help prevent your child from getting the flu, your New Braunfels pediatrician at River Valley Pediatrics offer these tips to keep in mind.
You may have heard the phrase, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” Getting a flu shot may hurt a little, but it is far better than having to suffer the aches and pain of the flu virus. There are treatments available should you or your children get the flu, but you will still suffer. And if you do happen to get the flu even if you have been immunized, the symphony won’t be as bad or won’t last as long.
Wash Your Hands
Your hands are a favorite way the flu virus travels, so it is important to wash them as often as you can. Teach your children at an early age that they need to be washing their hands after using the restroom, before and after eating and after they cough or sneeze.
Teach your children to wash their hands with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds. Mom and Dad should also have an alcohol-based hand gel in their vehicles and purse for hand sanitizing when the family is on the go.
It is a good idea to practice healthy habits during the flu season. This means children and adults alike should be eating healthy, getting the recommended amount of exercise each week and getting plenty of rest to help optimize their immune systems. Make sure you have plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand for your children to eat and make sure they drink plenty of water.
School-age children should be getting about 10 hours of sleep a night and you need to encourage them to get at least an hour of physical activity each day.
If your child’s best friend is over for a visit coughing and sneezing, it makes sense to send them home and definitely not a good time for a sleepover.
We encourage you to follow these tips and keep your children healthy this flu season. Contact River Valley Pediatrics for more information.