The Flu in Children: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
It may not always be easy to tell if your child has the flu since the condition can come on quickly and is usually more intense than the common cold. When a child is sick with the flu, they will usually feel worse during the first two or three days that they are sick.
Symptoms of the Flu in Kids:
Some common symptoms of the flu in children include a sudden high-grade fever that may include chills and shakes, headaches, body aches, fatigue, a dry cough, stomach pain and vomiting, and a sore throat. It is quite common for parents to mistake the flu in their children for a stomach bug since the symptoms are often quite similar in children. Unlike adults, children with the flu tend to experience more stomach pain, vomiting, and nausea.
What Causes the Flu in Children?
The flu is caused by three main types of influenza viruses. The yearly outbreaks that are common during the flu season are caused by types A and B. Type C can infect you at any time of the year randomly, but usually causes milder cases.
How Does the Flu Spread?
The flu is a highly contagious virus, especially for kids who are around each other a lot such as in classrooms. It spreads when somebody inhales a droplet that has been coughed or sneezed up by a person who is infected with the flu.
It can also be contracted by coming into contact with spit or mucus from somebody who has the flu. Kids can spread the flu to others for a day before their symptoms become apparent, and for five to seven days after catching the virus. It can easily move between children in school since they will often share pens and pencils, toys, computers, and more.
Avoiding the Flu:
Getting a yearly flu vaccination is the best way to avoid the flu. The CDC recommends that all people over the age of six months should be given a flu vaccination. Getting the vaccine is particularly important for pregnant women and caregivers for infants under the age of six months.
How COVID-19 Measures Can Help Prevent the Flu:
Over the past year, the COVID-19 safety measures that have been put in place in many of the areas where kids gather such as schools and youth clubs have also been effective in reducing flu infections. This is because the flu spreads through droplets and touching infected surfaces in much the same way as COVID-19.
BarrierLab’s school sneeze guards, for example, that are in place in certain areas within schools to provide an additional safety layer between students and employees, can help to reduce the spread of both COVID-19 and the flu along with social distancing and the wearing of face coverings.
We are likely to see some schools and businesses continue some of these safety measures during flu season to improve health and reduce the spread.
The flu can often look different in kids compared to adults, and understanding how it spreads and what to look out for is important for parents.
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