Smart Tips for Staying Healthy this Flu Season

On January 7, 2014 by Rebecca Whyte
Child With The Flu

Don’t Let THE FLU Catch You!

Great things start with good health. Many of us experience this firsthand when we eat a balanced diet, exercise daily, get enough rest, drink lots of fluids, and keep stress at bay! And parents share this wisdom with children regularly (minus the stress part) through their “eat your fruits and veggies” and “don’t forget your jackets!”

Influenza (“flu”) and other winter respiratory viruses spread in our communities every winter season, and this season it’s more important than ever to keep yourself and your family healthy. ABC South Bay News reports, “Experts do not believe the flu has peaked yet in California.”

Follow these Smart Tips for Keeping Yourself and Your Family Healthy this Flu Season, issued by Santa Clara County Public Health.

Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever (temperature of 100°F or greater)
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose
  • Body Aches
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

What to do when you think your child has the flu: 

Keep your child home!

If your child has a fever, especially with another symptom, keep them home. If your child just doesn’t look or feel well, and has one or more symptoms of the flu, keep them home. And keep them home until at least 24 hours have passed since they’ve been fever free and off of fever-reducing medicines like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen.

Call or see a doctor if:

  • Your child is younger than two years old
  • Your child is more ill than you would expect
  • Fever persists for more than three days
  • Symptoms include being weary or sluggish, and the child does not improve after taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen
  • Your child has an existing chronic illness or some other risk factor
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Go to the emergency department if your child shows any of the following symptoms:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color (call 911 immediately)
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Continued vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

What to do when you think you have the flu:

Stay home! Drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest!

Adults with the flu should see a doctor if they have:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever or worse cough

Simple steps to help stop the spread of flu germs:

  1. Wash hands often with soap and water
  2. Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues
  3. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, in the fold of your arm
  4. Put used tissues in the trash and then wash your hands

Please remember, most healthy children and adults will recover from the flu without any special medical attention. Just watch for worsening symptoms and if these happen, get medical care right away. Most importantly, don’t ignore the doctor’s orders! If you or your child is sick, stay home and as much as possible, stay away from others!

Here’s to staying healthy and happy in 2014!

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