How to protect yourself and your children during peak flu season

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Steps you can take to protect children are simple. Vaccinate yourself and your children. Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Stay away from people who are sick. Cover your cough.

Flu season is here. The “peak” season for flu typically lasts into February. It’s not too late to get a flu shot, which is the most effective way to prevent the flu. Le Bonheur Children’s Pediatrician-in-Chief Jon McCullers, MD, discusses prevention and treatment.
The shot can protect children to some effect as early as seven days after the vaccine, although full protection takes two to three weeks.
Outbreaks typically last six to eight weeks. Thus, a flu shot now can protect during this time of the year. The vaccine offered now is the same as last year’s.
If your child has the flu, you should seek treatment for your child as early as possible. Uncomplicated flu (fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, generally feeling sick) can and should be diagnosed in outpatient settings, such as pediatricians. Treatment and advice on care for the flu are also most appropriately delivered by primary care physicians.
If needed, the emergency department can help deal with complications of the flu, including severe dehydration, febrile seizures and infections of the brain or lungs. Pneumonia, when the disease moves to the lungs, can either be viral or result from bacteria complicating the flu infection.
Steps you can take to protect children are simple. Vaccinate yourself and your children. Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Stay away from people who are sick. Cover your cough.
About Le Bonheur Children’s:
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., treats children through community programs, regional clinics and a 255-bed state-of-the-art hospital. Le Bonheur serves as a primary teaching affiliate for the University Tennessee Health Science Center and trains more than 350 pediatricians and specialists each year. Nationally recognized, Le Bonheur is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Children’s Hospital.
For more information, please call (901) 287-6030 or visit lebonheur.org. Connect with us at facebook.com/lebonheurchildrens, twitter.com/ lebonheurchild or on Instagram at lebonheurchildrens.