Tag Archive: flu prevention

  1. Flu Or A Cold

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    How Do You Know If Your Child Has The Flu Or A Cold?

    Flu symptoms have several similarities with cold symptoms, which often make it so difficult to distinguish between the flu or a cold. However, it is important to be able to tell the difference between flu or a cold as they both require completely different treatments. Without knowing the difference you could mistakenly over-medicate your child with flu treatment, when all they really have is a cold. This could lead to a whole lot of other problems.

    Not sure whether your child has the cold or the flu? At Pediatric Partners you will find highly trained and qualified pediatricians who will do a thorough diagnosis and will accordingly prescribe medication to help your child recover faster. Call to schedule an appointment today.

    A look at the symptoms of the flu and cold will help you recognize the difference the next time your child sneezes or has the sniffles.

    Cold Symptoms

    The common cold is caused by a virus. Symptoms of a cold may include some or all of the following:

    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Sneezing
    • Coughing
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Feeling tired and achy
    • Low fever of about 100°F to 101°F

    In most cases, a cold will last about 3 to 10 days. Very rarely, and only in very severe cases, the symptoms may last up to 2 weeks.

    Flu Symptoms

    The flu too is caused by a virus but it is different from the one that causes colds. The flu virus is more prevalent between the month of October and May. Flu symptoms may include:

    • Fever that is usually higher than 100°F
    • Body ache and headache
    • Cough

    These symptoms may be accompanied by a runny nose and sore throat. The flu usually lasts about one to two weeks.

    Differences in Treatment

    Both, flu or a cold are caused by viruses. They cannot be killed by antibiotics. Taking antibiotics could end up causing more harm and should be avoided.

    Treatment for cold symptoms in children usually involves giving medication to ease their stuffy nose and sinuses and to alleviate the pain. If there is excessive coughing, cough suppressants are sometimes prescribed to soothe the throat. Plenty of vitamin C can help boost your child’s immunity. It is also important to ensure they stay hydrated and get enough sleep when you they a cold.

    Treating for flu symptoms is almost similar. The Pediatrician will prescribe mild, child-friendly medication to reduce fever and to ease the body aches. As with colds, it is important to ensure that your child stays hydrated and gets enough sleep during this time.

    It is advisable to keep your child at home whether they have the flu or a cold. This is to prevent it from spreading as both are contagious.

  2. Three Tips for Flu Prevention

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    Influenza, or the flu, is a virus that causes cold-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, sneezing, and coughing. However, unlike the common cold, the flu can last from several days to weeks and can lead to hospitalization from complications including respiratory problems or pneumonia.

    The flu virus enters through mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, or mouth and is commonly transmitted by touching your face after having come in contact with someone who has the flu. A person can be contagious even a day before symptoms present themselves, and the virus spreads easily within classrooms due to close quarters and shared toys. Prioritize flu prevention this season by arming yourself with knowledge. See below for three simple ways to avoid the flu.

    Flu-Prevention Tip #1: Get the Flu Shot

    The flu shot has been proven effective in flu prevention for 62% of children, and the CDC recommends that all children six months and older receive the influenza vaccine each year. For those who are nervous about the needle, there is a nasal-spray version of the vaccine called FluMist. FluMist is available to anyone ages two to 49, although the CDC does not recommend the spray for those who are pregnant, have a history of wheezing, have anaphylaxis or an allergy to eggs, or those with heart or lung disease. Keep in mind that children ages two to nine will need two doses of the spray in order to activate the vaccine.

    Each year brings a new strain of the flu, so the vaccine [either shot or spray] will need to be administered every year. The flu shot or FluMist spray do not guarantee that you will not get sick, however, having had the vaccine can lessen the severity of symptoms.

    Flu-Prevention Tip #2: Avoid Close Contact

    It’s easy for the flu to spread from one child to another and eventually to make its way through the entire family. If your school or community is experiencing a tough flu season, consider staying home until it blows over. The virus spreads easily in close quarters, so classrooms of children are especially susceptible. Teach your child to “cover their cough,” and to use a tissue to take care of their runny nose. Avoid touching your face after shaking someone’s hand, and keep your distance from those with cold or flu symptoms.

    Flu-Prevention Tip #3: Wash Your Hands

    The flu virus is not airborne. It is spread when one child sneezes on a toy for example, and then another picks up the toy with the same hands they later use to eat a snack or rub their eyes. The flu virus can live on surfaces for up to eight hours, and hand washing is key for flu prevention. Keep your hands germ-free by washing them regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time before eating, after playing in a public place, and before touching your eyes, nose or mouth. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that is alcohol based.

    Identifying flu symptoms early can help avoid spreading the virus to others. Additionally, if you are diagnosed with the flu and prescribed TamiFlu within the first 48 hours of symptoms, the drug can help weaken the symptoms and reduce your sick time. Pay close attention to children with flu symptoms and make sure that they are kept home to rest and recover. It’s essential that they are taking in plenty of fluids and that they are being monitored closely for potential complications. Call your pediatrician if your child’s fever lasts more than three to four days or if your child complains of trouble breathing, ear pain, congestion in the nose or head, has a persistent cough, or seems to be getting worse.

    Contact Pediatric Partners today if your child is having the flu symptoms. 

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