Published onHealth Tip of the Week
Many children in the Philadelphia area are sick with flu. And it’s not just in our region — this flu season is hitting hard nationwide.
At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and across our entire Care Network, we are prepared and ready to care for every child who needs us. We are taking many precautions to ensure the safety of our patients and families.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician’s office. That is your best resource, unless your child exhibits the severe symptoms listed below that warrant a trip to the emergency room.
What to expect if your child has the flu
- Children with flu will have several days of fever, coughing, body aches and some will vomit.
Call your child’s healthcare provider if your child
- Has fever above 102 for two days
- Is not drinking well or vomits several times
- Is very sleepy
Go to the nearest emergency room if your child has flu symptoms and
- Is breathing hard or fast
- Shows signs of dehydration such as not making urine or dry mouth and lips
- Has a serious chronic medical problem
How you can help prevent the spread of the flu
- Remember, washing your hands is the best defense against germs! Follow these tips for cleaning your hands and your child’s hands to prevent the spread of infection and keep your child and family healthy. And don’t forget to cough and sneeze into your elbow.
- It’s also not too late to get the flu vaccine. Call your primary care physician or a local pharmacy that offers flu shots. Even though the vaccine doesn’t work against every strain of flu, it can help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms or completely prevent it. The flu shot has also proven to be effective at reducing risk of death from flu. The CDC has helpful information explaining how flu vaccines can provide protection even if they’re not a “good match” with what is circulating in the community.
- If you or your child acquires flu, your second line of defense may be prescription anti-viral medications (such as Tamiflu®) that are proven effective in treating flu. Read the CDC’s “What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs” and discuss with your doctor whether these medications are right for you or your child.
Contributed by: Richard J. Scarfone, MD