Every year the flu season is unpredictable with uncontrollable timing, severity and length which typically starts in October and lasts until May. Children and adults are affected and in the United States, seasonal flu commonly peaks between December and February. What do parents need to know compared to other years?
The best prevention is to get the flu vaccine every year which can significantly reduce the chances of getting the virus. Getting a vaccine annually will protect against the common flu virus that season.
The flu is both airborne and transferred through contact. If an infected individual coughs, sneezes or touches something, anyone nearby is at risk of inhaling germs or contracting the virus by touching an infected surface.
Children who attend daycare or school are particularly susceptible to the flu. Influenza is most contagious during the first 24 to 36 hours of contracting the virus, but symptoms indicating that a child has the flu usually do not appear for one to seven days.
If complications occur, such as sinus pain or pressure, earache or a fever that lasts longer than three days, call your child's physician during office hours. If your child develops a very high fever, has a seizure, is having difficulty breathing or starts to act very sick, call your physician immediately.