How To Stop The Flu Early In Kids, Because This Strain Is Really Dangerous

By
Share
Ad failed to load

This year’s flu epidemic is turning out to be one of the worst in recent history, and it’s all due to the intensity of the season’s predominant influenza strains. People all over the country, children and adults alike, are falling ill, being hospitalized, and many have even lost their lives. If you have children, you’re probably anxious, so you should know how to stop the flu early in kids.

There is one first, main line of defense, and it’s pretty easy to come by. In an interview with Romper, Pennsylvania pediatrician Dr. Jarret Patton says that if your family still hasn’t gotten their flu vaccine, there is still time. “Although this year's vaccine is only about 33 percent effective,” says Patton, “it is still preventing a significant amount of severe illness.” He says that most people would buy a lottery ticket if they were told they had a 33 percent chance of winning, so getting a vaccine shouldn’t be any different.

You may have gotten by without a flu shot for years, but this year’s epidemic won't be so easy to breeze by. I usually never get sick, but the flu hit me like a ton of bricks this year. The reason people are getting so ill is because the flu strain this year is particularly virulent, explains Patton, spreading easily and causing more significant symptoms. "This year's flu season is very active and widespread throughout most states,” says Patton, “and there have been many children that have fallen victim to the flu and unfortunately lost their lives."

Ad failed to load

Because the flu shot can't protect you from the flu 100 percent, to keep your kids safe, you should keep an eye out for early signs of the flu. The family of Keyona Richardson, a 10-year-old in Colorado who is in the ICU battling flu-related pneumonia and lung collapse, told WQAD 8 Fox News that parents should not wait to take their children to the doctor if they see signs of illness. Catching the flu early can make all the difference in keeping your kids safe.

What are the early symptoms of the flu to look out for in children? Along with looking for signs of fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, muscle aches, nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting, pediatric nurse practitioner Patsy Stinchfield told The Washington Post that parents should bring their kids to the doctor if they notice an aversion to drinking, lethargy, or if their kids seem to get well and then worse again.

Ad failed to load

When you do get to the doctor’s office, your child will probably be tested for the flu. The most commonly used test is the rapid influenza test, says Chicago area pharmacist Bineesh Moyeed. She tells Romper that the doctor will swipe a long cotton swab inside your child’s nose and then run a quick 10 to 15-minute test on their nasal secretions to detect if a flu virus is present. Even if the test is negative (it can produce false positives), if your doctor sees symptoms of the flu in your child, Moyeed says you may be given an antiviral that could help reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of the flu.

Unfortunately, I know too many parents that try to get by cold and flu symptoms by dosing their kids with Motrin or Tylenol every four hours. But with the severe complications this year’s flu strains are causing, it’s not worth the risk. If your kids are sick, take them to the doctor for testing and evaluation as soon as you can, and definitely do not send them to school. The only way to help keep this flu from spreading is to keep sick kids home and make sure to teach your entire family about the importance of washing their hands and covering their coughs or sneezes. When it comes to your kids and their well being, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.  

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack