The Flu and Your Children
The flu is more dangerous than the common cold for your children. Each year, many children get sick with seasonal flu, which can lead to further complications. It is estimated that an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized each year for flu complications. During the last flu season from 2012 to 2013, more than 150 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported. Some common complications of the flu for young children include:
- Children under 5 years old need immediate medical care for flu symptoms.
- Severe flu complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old.
- Children with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes, and neurological conditions are especially at high risk of developing serious flu complications.
How can I protect my child from the flu?
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone 6 months or older get a vaccine early so make sure that you and your children are up to date on your flu vaccine. Children who are younger than 5 years of age and children with any chronic conditions (asthma, diabetes, and neurological condition) are particularly at risk during the flu season and must get a seasonal flu vaccine. There are different flu vaccines that are available for your children, which include:
- The trivalent flu vaccine that protects against three flu viruses
- The quadrivalent flu vaccine that protects against four flu viruses.
The healthcare provider will know which vaccines are right for your child.
Why is it important for my child to be vaccinated every flu season?
Children should be vaccinated every flu season for the best protection against the flu. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age may require two doses of the flu vaccine so it is recommended that the first dose be given as early in the season as possible. For other children, it is also good practice to have them vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine becomes available, which is usually in October. The flu virus occurs as early as October but flu activities will usually peak in January or later so even getting vaccinated after October can still be protective. It normally takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to develop in the body to protect against the flu virus.
What can I do if my child is sick with the flu?
If your child is 5 years and older, and does not have any other health problems then seek medical care as needed and make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks plenty of fluids. However, if your child is younger than 5 years or at any age with a long term chronic health condition (asthma, neurological condition, diabetes) then they are at risk for serious complications from the flu so immediate medical attention is necessary.
There are some serious symptoms that will signal urgent medical attention for your child. Seek immediate medical attention if your child:
- Is breathing fast or having trouble breathing
- Has bluish skin color
- Is not drinking enough fluids
- Is not waking up or interacting
- Is irritable and does not want to be held
- Has severe or persistent vomiting
- Has flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
If your child is experiencing flu-like symptoms, come to your nearest Healthpointe urgent care location today in order to receive timely and quality care for your child and his or her flu symptoms! Please feel free to call 888-719-8448 or walk in to any of our location, such as La Mirada near Whittier, La Habra, Norwalk, Cerritos, Buena Park, and Santa Fe Springs.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles county, Orange county, San Bernardino county and Riverside county). Healthpointe has locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California including Anaheim, which is conveniently located near Whittier, La Habra, Norwalk, La Mirada, Cerritos, Buena Park and Santa Fe Springs. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit healthpointe.net