Anywhere from 5-20% of the United States population comes down with the flu every year. It’s a common viral infection, and it can be serious for babies and children. For rapid flu testing and expert treatments to keep your kids healthy, turn to the pediatric team at Old Fourth Ward Pediatrics in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more about how to prevent the flu and how to care for your child when they have the flu by booking an appointment online or by phone today.
The flu is a contagious illness spread by the influenza virus. It’s an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs, and it’s easily spread from person to person during the winter months. The flu is almost always more severe than the common cold, but some symptoms can be similar.
Signs of the flu can include:
Anyone at any age can get the flu. Most symptoms of the flu typically go away after about five days, and all symptoms should disappear within two weeks.
The flu can be dangerous for babies and children, because it can develop into pneumonia or other serious health conditions. If you think your child has the flu, visit your pediatrician soon. The doctors at Old Fourth Ward Pediatrics can perform rapid flu testing to diagnose your child.
Rapid flu testing involves taking a swab of your child’s nose or throat to detect the presence of the flu virus. Results are obtained in as little as 30 minutes, and your pediatrician can recommend a treatment strategy.
For kids with severe flu or other health complications, the team might prescribe an antiviral medication to help shorten the flu’s duration. Other treatment methods include drinking adequate fluids, getting plenty of rest, and taking over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for aches or fever.
While the flu isn’t 100% preventable, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your child from catching it. Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu vaccination every year. Getting the flu shot before November offers the most protection, but it’s never too late to get the vaccine during flu season.
Teach your child proper handwashing strategies to help stop the spread of germs. Encourage them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of the arm, and not the hands. Don’t share cups or utensils, and keep your child at home if they’re sick.
Fight the flu with the help of the pediatric team at Old Fourth Ward Pediatrics. Make an appointment online or call the office today.