4 Ways Parents Can Protect Their Children During Flu Season

One thing is for certain when the colder temperatures begin to roll in: influenza, or flu, season is around the corner. Not to be confused with the common cold, the flu virus can develop into a serious medical condition that can even prove to be fatal. Parents must take measures to protect their children from the flu.

1.Consider a Vaccine

Influenza vaccines have a high-effectiveness rate. In many children, the vaccine drastically reduces the likelihood of the child contracting the virus, and for those that do, it lowers the risk of the child developing a severe case. There are different types of vaccines and different guidelines depending on the age of the child, so speak with the child's pediatric care doctor about which option is right.

2. Pay Attention to Research

Every year, public health professionals monitor flu positive results. They use this information to establish high-risk zones, which are areas with elevated flu-spread levels. Pay attention to this research to determine if you reside in one of these locations and to determine whether or not you need to scale back your public activities until the elevated threat subsides. If you have an immune-compromised child, this step can be especially important.

3. Encourage Hand Washing

It is a good idea to teach your child about the importance of washing their hands during the flu season and beyond. The flu virus is spread largely by droplets from an infected person traveling through the air when they speak, sneeze, or cough. However, there is evidence that these droplets can also rest on surfaces. If your child touches a virus-containing surface and puts their hands in their mouth, it can spread. Good handwashing practices drastically lower this threat.

4. Schedule a Visit

One of the most impactful things a parent can do is to take the flu seriously. Again, the flu can develop into a dangerous condition. If you suspect your child has contracted the illness, schedule an appointment with a provider to have your child tested. If your child develops any concerning symptoms, do not hesitate to take them back. Often, a medical professional can do so much more to safeguard a child when they can treat him or her early on. 

Your child's medical provider is the best resource for understanding exactly what you need to do to protect your child during the flu season. Speak with a pediatric care doctor for more information.