Kids are prone to many infections, especially during particular seasons. Sometimes these are contagious and you have to prevent it from spreading to everyone in the family. As a mom, I know how difficult it is to prevent kids from attracting infections as they go to school or play outside with friends. Safeguarding kids from the flu and other infections are not easy.

My younger one used to get frequent cold and cough when she was small and it was difficult for me to make out the difference between normal cold and flu. I discussed it with her paediatrician who explained to me how to differentiate between the two and she also told me ways in which to help prevent flu in kids.

What my paediatrician told me about influenza.

It is a viral infection that is a contagious respiratory illness. It infects the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Flu can cause mild to severe illnesses, and at times can lead to death. It can spread easily from one person to another. So, the best way to prevent is to get a flu vaccine each year by both kids and adults.[i]

Some things my paediatrician said we parents should keep in mind to protect your child from flu:

Protect your family and others – As it is contagious, avoid sending your child to school and any crowded places when he or she is sick. On the other hand, if you or any of your family members are not well, avoid direct interaction with the child. It can spread even from tiny droplets from the infected person.

Build immunity in kids – The flu can affect anybody. Even a perfectly healthy child with good immunity can get it from their friends or other kids in school or play areas. But good nutrition and a good amount of fluids are helpful. Also, teaching kids good hygiene habits like washing hands, wearing clean clothes, coughing or sneezing in their elbow and not hands, etc. are helpful in preventing flu.

Take the right steps – As I was confused between a common cold and flu symptoms, my daughter’s paediatrician told me to take these steps.

  1. First and foremost if a child is not well, it’s important to recognise the symptoms and if you suspect flu, give good nutrition and fluids.
  2. The second step is to consult your doctor.

Clean your home – One way you can avoid flu is by keeping your house clean with disinfectants. This way you can stop the infection from spreading through common household things like doorknobs, common furniture items, etc. Make sure to keep the room of infected person clean especially the bathroom. Teach kids to throw all the used tissues in the dustbin and wash their hands repeatedly.[ii]

Influenza vaccine – It’s a myth that Influenza vaccination is not helpful. As my paediatric said, getting your child and family members vaccinated is one of the best ways you can protect them from flu. Anyone above 6 months of age can take the vaccine.

Why once a year?

The Influenza virus is a tricky virus as it changes its structure and our immunity is not able to recognise it and that’s why Influenza vaccine is required once a year. You can discuss with your paediatrician for more.

As they say, prevention is better than cure. I believe in this adage completely and make sure my kids and family get timely doses of their vaccinations. Are you also following the proper preventive measures against flu-like the vaccine to keep your family safe? These are a few ways to protect your child from the flu.

#IPromiseToStopFlu for my child. You?

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