What the Flu Doesn't Tell You: A Guide for Parents

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. The Flu can be dangerous for children, so we wanted to create a guide to help parents like you, better understand this virus and how you can protect your children from it.


How can I protect my child from the flu?

The best way to protect your child from the flu is by getting yearly vaccines for the whole family.

Stay away from people who have flu like symptoms as much as possible to keep yourself from getting sick, and potentially passing it to your children. Remember to regularly cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

Who should get yearly vaccinations?

  • Children with long-term health conditions
  • Caregivers of children that are high risk of flu complications
  • Women who are pregnant should get a flu vaccine to protect themselves and their baby from the virus.

Flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone 6 months and older every year, and can be given as a shot or nasal spray.

What are the benefits of getting a flu vaccine?

We know the flu vaccine helps you and your child from getting sick. But it also helps keep your child from being hospitalized. A recent study showed the flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit admission by 74%!

The vaccine can also help make your illness milder if you do get sick. By getting yourself and your child vaccinated, you are also protecting other who can be more vulnerable to the illness like, babies, young children and elderly.


How serious is the flu?

Children who are younger than 5 years and children with certain long-term health problems are at a high risk of flu complications like pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections.

What are flu symptoms to look for?

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills, feeling tired, vomiting or diarrhea (more common in children than adults).

What can I do if my child gets very sick?

Even healthy children can get very sick from the flu. If your child is experiencing the following warning signs, you should go to the emergency room:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Ribs pulling in with each breath
  • Chest pain
  • Severe muscle pain (Child refuses to walk)
  • Dehydration (No urine for 8 hours, dry mouth)
  • Not alert or interacting when awake
  • Seizures
  • Fever above 104°

Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.

We are here to keep your family safe during this flu season. If you or your child have not received a flu vaccine, call or text us to set up an appointment today. 509-488-5256.

For more information on the flu you can visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/family/flu-guide-for-parents-2018.pdf