Influenza, commonly referred to as "the flu," is a highly contagious respiratory virus that is common during the winter and early spring. Children are more susceptible to influenza than adults because their immune systems are still developing. It's important to take the proper prevention precautions during flu season, such as vaccinating your child, making sure they wash their hands frequently, and reminding them to cover their mouths and noses when they cough or sneeze.
If your child has flu symptoms, parents are urged to call their pediatrician or family physician before coming to the hospital’s emergency room. Your doctor will be able to decide if your child needs to come to the hospital or not. Most children with the flu do not need medical care or testing.
Flu symptoms can last as little as one day or longer than a week and may include:
If your child comes down with the flu, it is important that:
After your child's flu is gone, keep them home from school and activities for at least 24 hours.
If your child has a chronic health condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart or lung disease, or a neurological condition and has flu symptoms, call your child’s doctor right away. Children with chronic health conditions may be at higher risk for serious complications from the flu.
There are several ways to prevent you and your children from contracting the flu. Below are our key recommendations.
To learn more about the flu and how to keep your family healthy, visit flu.gov.