The first semester of school is nearing an end, kids are well into sports seasons, the weather is changing and the Holidays are upon us. While it may seem that the worst of the flu season is behind us, flu season is still in full swing. And it is not too late for you and your children to get a flu shot.
The flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children and can lead to serious health conditions like pneumonia or bacterial infections. Each year many children are hospitalized and some die from the flu. It is not too late for you and your kids to get a flu shot.
The flu (influenza) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu infections are highly contagious. They spread easily when children are in a group with other children such as in a child care center or
The following resources provide information on preventing the flu. Materials and tools for child care facilities are also included.
Flu Vaccine Information
The flu vaccine is the best way to protect against getting the flu. All people 6 months and older need a flu vaccine each year. Babies cannot get vaccinated until they are 6 months old. It is critical that people who live with or care for children, especially newborns and infants younger than 6 months, get vaccinated.
The Kids First Pediatrics team is offering flu shots for healthy individuals in Raleigh in Clayton by appointment. Call our office for more information.
Raleigh Kids First: 23 Sunnybrook Road Suite 116, 919-250-3478
Clayton Kids First: 400 Athletic Club Blvd. Unit 101, 919-267-1499
Protecting Children with Chronic Health Conditions
Children and adolescents with a chronic health condition, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at high risk for flu complications.
A few minutes of killing germs can go a long way toward keeping you and those around you healthy. As adults, we know to wash our hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing, or wiping noses. When you cough or sneeze, cough into your sleeve or arm or into a tissue. Be sure to dispose of the tissue and wash your hands. Parents and child care providers can do their part to kill germs and also teach young children how and when to wash their hands.
- Hand Washing: A Powerful Antidote to Illness
- Germ Prevention Strategies
- Cleaners, Sanitizers & Disinfectants
Preventing the Spread of Illness in Child Care
Young children who have just entered child care are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. This is because it may be the first time they have been exposed to certain germs. In addition, they may be too young to have received enough doses of recommended vaccines to have developed immunity.
There are steps that caregivers and teachers can take to prevent the spread of infection in child care.
How Sick is Too Sick?
When children are healthy, they can go to child care or school, and parents can go to work. Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to make sure everyone can continue to participate in these important activities. However, when a child feels too sick to participate in activities, or requires care beyond what the caregivers can provide without compromising their ability to care for other children, that child will need to stay home.
Additional Resources for Parents & Child Care Providers:
- What’s the Latest With the Flu? A Message for Caregivers & Teachers
- Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 5th Edition – Award-winning quick reference guide provides the latest information on preventing and managing infectious diseases in child care and school settings.
- Influenza Prevention and Control: Strategies for Early Education and Child Care Programs (AAP.org)
- Letter Child Care Programs Can Customize to Share Influenza Season Planning Strategies with Parents (AAP.org)
- Flu.gov (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- PreventChildhoodInfluenza.org (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases/Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition)
- Flu Fighter Coloring Book (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases)