Tips from Boys Town Pediatricians for Helping Keep Children Safe from the Flu

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As cold weather approaches and people tend to stay indoors, colds and flu germs seem to be everywhere. The pediatricians at Boys Town have five tips to help keep your children healthy.

Influenza is a viral illness that causes fever and cough, but kids have a higher risk of complications like becoming dehydrated or getting secondary infections like pneumonia, anything we can do to prevent that, we want to do.

Boys Town today announced strategies to help keep your child safe from the flu this season. The national child and healthcare organization, started over 90 years ago, is a leader in parenting advice. As colder weather approaches, it is important that your child stays healthy. Below are five ways to help your child beat the flu:

1.    Protect your child from this year’s most common influenza viruses with a flu shot or FluMist vaccination.
2.    Encourage your children to wash their hands frequently especially after sneezing, coughing and wiping their noses to kill germs. Your children should use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
3.    Make sure your children cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing to decrease the number of germs in the air.
4.    Help keep your home safe by wetting kitchen sponges and dishcloths and putting them in the microwave for two minutes to kill bacteria.
5.    If your child begins to show flu symptoms including a fever, body aches, lack of energy or vomiting, make sure he/she stays well-rested and hydrated. Call a doctor if your child begins to develop a very high fever or if symptoms last for days.

“Influenza is most contagious during the first 24 to 36 hours of contracting the virus. Because the symptoms of the flu usually do not appear for one to seven days, children who attend daycare or school are particularly susceptible to the flu,” said Eduardo Delgado, Boys Town Staff Pediatrician. “Once a child's fever is gone and his energy level is up, he can return to daycare or school.”

For more information on this topic and others go to Boystownpediatrics.org.

About Boys Town
Nationally, Boys Town has been a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its life-changing youth care and health care programs for more than 90 years. In 2011, Boys Town’s Integrated Continuum of youth care and health care programs impacted more than 500,000 children and families across America. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s residential programs as well as those served by the many varied programs that comprise the Boys Town Integrated Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline.

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Kara Neuverth
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