Flu Season

Flu season has started.  Common symptoms of the flu are fever, body aches, chills, and cough.  Learn more about flu symptoms here

The best ways to protect your child are to get the flu vaccine and take preventative measures such as hand washing at home.

Children younger than 5 years of age – especially those younger than 2 years – and children with certain long-term health problems (including asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system) are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications.  Please call our office if your child fits this criteria and is showing signs of the flu such as high fever, body aches, or cough.

Antiviral medication such as Tamiflu can be used to shorten the duration or severity of influenza when started within the first 48 hrs of symptoms.  The CDC recommends treatment for children <2 yrs of age and children with asthma or other long-term health problems.  Some children <5 yrs of age may also benefit from Tamiflu. 

For children >5 yrs of age who are otherwise healthy, we do not recommend Tamiflu.  Tamiflu is costly, has side effects (vomiting is most common), and tends to shorten the course of illness only by about 24 hrs.

If you feel your child is ill enough to need antiviral medication such as Tamiflu, he or she should be evaluated in our office prior to treatment.

Even healthy children can become seriously ill from influenza.  Parents should call immediately or go to the emergency room with fast breathing, trouble breathing, or bluish or gray skin color.