With the holidays here, kids and adults will be spending more time together so experts say heed warnings: get a flu shot and avoid people who are sick if at all possible.
Children who are sick with the flu don't know what's wrong and if they're very young, they can't even tell their parents that they feel badly.
But influenza is a serious disease and now that the flu is hitting earlier and harder than in years past, doctors at Children's of Alabama called a news conference to help make parents aware of the dangers.
In general, kids' symptoms are the same as adults: high temperature, nausea, vomiting, body aches, sore throat, coughing, and dehydration.
"So if you're worried that your child has the flu, the most important thing is to stay calm, treat your child just like you would any other illness with supportive care, which means if they're uncomfortable with fever, make sure they're drinking plenty and they're staying hydrated," Dr. Susan Walley said.
Walley says the number one thing parents can do to prevent kids from getting the flu is to get them a flu shot. It take about two weeks to activate but it will prevent most types of flu. She adds that anyone with egg allergies should not get a flu shot.
Walley says a flu nasal spray is available but is not recommended for anyone with asthma. It does contain the live flu virus, unlike the shot which does not contain a live virus. And she recommends kids and adults wash their hands frequently with soap.
"We recommend people wash their hands and sing the happy birthday song, that way we know they're washing their hands long enough," Walley said.
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