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Getting Your Household By the 2024 Flu Season

It’s that point of 12 months – flu season. We’re seeing many circumstances of Influenza at St. Louis Kids’s Hospital. However hopefully, your youngster won’t be one in all them. Right here is a few details about influenza that will help you maintain your youngster wholesome this flu season.

What’s Influenza?

Influenza is a contagious respiratory sickness brought on by influenza viruses, which trigger delicate to extreme signs and in some circumstances, result in hospitalization and even demise. There are two sorts of influenza viruses, A and B. Each trigger seasonal outbreaks every year, generally known as the influenza or flu season. The flu season often begins within the fall and may final till the tip of spring. When there’s an outbreak or epidemic within the winter months, the sickness tends to be extra frequent in preschool and school-aged youngsters; nonetheless, it may possibly unfold shortly amongst teenagers and school college students, too.

Who’s Most at Danger from the Flu?

Kids youthful than 5 years outdated, particularly these youthful than two years outdated, and kids and adolescents with sure underlying circumstances (akin to power respiratory circumstances) are at highest danger of growing problems from the flu. That’s the reason it’s extremely beneficial that these youngsters get an influenza vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every one youngsters get a flu vaccine yearly beginning at six months of age.

What are the Signs of the Flu?

Signs of the flu embrace:

  • Sudden fever (often above 100.4 Fahrenheit)
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Physique aches
  • Being extra drained than regular
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion/stuffy nostril
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Some youngsters might have vomiting or diarrhea

After the primary few days of signs, the sore throat, stuffy nostril, and dry cough usually change into extra outstanding.

How Lengthy Does the Flu Final?

The flu can often final every week and even longer. You possibly can distinguish the flu from the frequent chilly as a result of usually, youngsters with the frequent chilly have solely a low-grade fever, runny nostril, and small quantity of coughing, and signs solely final a number of days. Kids with influenza are a lot sicker, achier, and extra depressing.

Is there Therapy for the Flu?

Some issues can enhance your youngster’s signs. Kids will profit from additional relaxation and consuming extra fluids. In case your youngster is uncomfortable because of the fever, acetaminophen or ibuprofen (for kids six months or older) might assist. Be certain to verify that you’re utilizing the proper dosages of each. Do NOT give aspirin as a result of youngsters with influenza can develop a situation known as Reye syndrome, which may be very severe.

As a result of the flu is a virus, antibiotics will not be efficient in therapy. Nonetheless, there’s a prescription antiviral medicine for influenza, and it may be useful if taken throughout the first 1-2 days of signs. Should you really feel your youngster’s signs simply began, speak to your pediatrician about getting your youngster examined for influenza and doubtlessly beginning the medicine. The medicine is particularly beneficial in youngsters at most danger for extreme sickness from the flu (youngsters underneath 5 years outdated, these with underlying well being circumstances, or these round others who’re in danger for extreme problems from flu).

It’s best to speak to your pediatrician in case your youngster’s signs last more than every week or in the event that they develop new signs, akin to ear ache or strain of their head that don’t go away.

When is the Flu an Emergency?

The flu is an emergency in case your youngster develops signs akin to bother respiratory or uncommon fast respiratory, pale, gray, or blue-colored lips or pores and skin, ribs that appear like they pull in with every breath, chest ache, muscle ache so extreme that they refuse to stroll, dehydration (no urination for eight hours and dry lips/mouth/pores and skin), not interacting with you whereas awake, seizures, or any fever in a baby lower than 12 weeks outdated. In these circumstances, go to the emergency division instantly!

How can we Stop the Flu?

As at all times, good hand hygiene is vital to stop the flu, in addition to staying dwelling when you or your youngster are having any signs and conserving your youngster out of faculty/childcare whereas having any signs. Nonetheless, getting the influenza vaccine every year is one of the simplest ways to stop the flu. In case your youngster hasn’t gotten it but, ask your pediatrician if it might nonetheless be useful. There are each shot and nasal spray variations, and so they begin to have a protecting impact about two weeks after they’re given. The influenza vaccine has only a few uncomfortable side effects and could be given to all youngsters older than six months, even these with egg allergy symptoms. The vaccine can also be beneficial whereas pregnant and for healthcare staff.

In case your youngster begins to have flu-like signs, our Washington College Kids’s After Hours areas present handy medical care to your youngster’s sicknesses and accidents as a sooner different to E.R.s when your pediatrician’s workplace is closed.

In case of a medical emergency with a baby, decide the place the closest accredited, Degree I pediatric trauma middle is positioned. St. Louis Kids’s Hospital has six pediatric E.R. areas throughout the St. Louis and southern Illinois area. These embrace St. Louis Kids’s HospitalKids’s Hospital at Memorial Hospital BellevilleKids’s Hospital at Memorial Hospital ShilohKids’s Hospital at Missouri Baptist Medical HeartKids’s Hospital at Northwest HealthCare, and Kids’s Hospital at Progress West Hospital.

Good luck this flu season! We’re right here for any questions and to judge your youngster if they’re having any signs.

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