Use these tips to prevent the spread of influenza in your family.
Get the Facts on the Flu Vaccine
A lot of misinformation about the flu virus vaccination has circulated this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together a webpage answering the most frequently asked questions about the 2017-2018 influenza season. The CDC is a reliable source of information from the U.S. government. According to the CDC, the best way to protect your child from the flu is with the flu shot or the recombinant influenza vaccine. The CDC does not recommend the nasal spray vaccine at this time.
Vaccinate Children Early
Vaccinate yourself and your children right at the beginning of flu season for the most effective protection against the virus. If your children are over the age of six months, they should get annual flu vaccines. If you have a child under the age of six months, it’s extremely important to use other flu prevention methods, such as proper sanitation, to decrease the risk of serious illness.
If you haven’t gotten vaccinated this season, there is still time. Do so as soon as possible.
Practice Great Sanitation
Kick your sanitation efforts up a notch during flu season. Wash hands regularly using antibacterial soap and keep sanitizing wipes handy. Wipe down toys and surfaces regularly. Teach your children proper germ-preventing behaviors, such as coughing and sneezing into their elbows instead of their hands and washing hands right away after using tissues. Remind kids to wash their hands more often than they normally would throughout flu season. Everyday preventive actions can prevent germs from spreading.
Keep Sick Children Home
You and your child can spread the flu virus to others even if you don’t feel sick yourself. The best thing you can do for your community is to stay home if you or your child has the flu or is showing symptoms of the flu, such as muscle aches or a stuffy nose. If your children are sick with a cough, sore throat, runny nose, or fever, keep them home from school, childcare, and other social activities until they are completely well again. Quarantining yourself away from others while sick can help control the spread of the flu virus.
For additional questions, contact your pediatrician at Green Hills Pediatric Associates.