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Getting Your Household By means of the 2024 Flu Season


It’s that point of 12 months – flu season. We’re seeing many instances of Influenza at St. Louis Kids’s Hospital. However hopefully, your baby won’t be one in all them. Right here is a few details about influenza that can assist you hold your baby 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 instances, result in hospitalization and even loss of life. There are two varieties of influenza viruses, A and B. Each trigger seasonal outbreaks every year, often called the influenza or flu season. The flu season normally begins within the fall and may final till the top 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 kids; nonetheless, it may possibly unfold shortly amongst teenagers and faculty college students, too.

Who’s Most at Threat from the Flu?

Kids youthful than 5 years previous, particularly these youthful than two years previous, and kids and adolescents with sure underlying circumstances (resembling persistent respiratory circumstances) are at highest threat of growing issues from the flu. That’s the reason it’s extremely beneficial that these kids get an influenza vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that each one kids 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 (normally above 100.4 Fahrenheit)
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Physique aches
  • Being extra drained than ordinary
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion/stuffy nostril
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Some kids might have vomiting or diarrhea

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

How Lengthy Does the Flu Final?

The flu can normally final every week and even longer. You’ll be able to distinguish the flu from the frequent chilly as a result of usually, kids 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 baby’s signs. Kids will profit from further relaxation and consuming extra fluids. In case your baby is uncomfortable because of the fever, acetaminophen or ibuprofen (for kids six months or older) might assist. Ensure to verify that you’re utilizing the proper dosages of each. Do NOT give aspirin as a result of kids with influenza can develop a situation known as Reye syndrome, which could be very critical.

As a result of the flu is a virus, antibiotics will not be efficient in remedy. Nevertheless, there’s a prescription antiviral remedy for influenza, and it may be useful if taken in the course of the first 1-2 days of signs. When you really feel your baby’s signs simply began, discuss to your pediatrician about getting your baby examined for influenza and probably beginning the remedy. The remedy is particularly beneficial in kids at most threat for extreme sickness from the flu (kids below 5 years previous, these with underlying well being circumstances, or these round others who’re in danger for extreme issues from flu).

It’s best to discuss to your pediatrician in case your baby’s signs last more than every week or in the event that they develop new signs, resembling 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 baby develops signs resembling bother respiration or uncommon speedy respiration, pale, gray, or blue-colored lips or pores and skin, ribs that appear to be 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 previous. In these instances, go to the emergency division instantly!

How can we Stop the Flu?

As at all times, good hand hygiene is vital to forestall the flu, in addition to staying residence should you or your baby are having any signs and retaining your baby out of faculty/childcare whereas having any signs. Nevertheless, getting the influenza vaccine every year is one of the simplest ways to forestall the flu. In case your baby hasn’t gotten it but, ask your pediatrician if it might nonetheless be useful. There are each shot and nasal spray variations, they usually 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 kids older than six months, even these with egg allergic reactions. The vaccine can be beneficial whereas pregnant and for healthcare employees.

In case your baby begins to have flu-like signs, our Washington College Kids’s After Hours areas present handy medical care to your baby’s sicknesses and accidents as a quicker various 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, Stage 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 MiddleKids’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 guage your baby if they’re having any signs.

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