I recently attended a Facebook Live Session with Dr. Sadanand Shetye and Dr. Mangesh Tiwaskar where they spoke extensively on seasonal flu. So, I thought it would be great if I could share some of my learnings with my readers.
The scorching sun has given way to the rains and with the onset of the monsoon season, children are prone to falling sick. On average, a child falls sick at least 4 times a year with every change in season. This is mainly related to increased exposure and transmission of viruses. The most common of these infections is the seasonal flu which grows during the cool weather and attacks the respiratory system with common symptoms like running nose, rise in temperature, feeling cold, sore throat, or body ache.
How seasonal flu affects children?
Children younger than 5 years of age and especially those under 6 months are at a higher risk of developing serious flu.
The most common issues that can arise are:
- Troubled breathing
- Dehydration where a child’s body loses more fluid and salt
- Skin turns bluish
How does seasonal flu spread?
Like any other virus, the seasonal flu virus also spreads through the air. The respiratory droplets of the infected person can spread when they talk, sneeze or cough. Also, these droplets could be on surfaces like tables or beds, and touching such surfaces and then rubbing one’s eyes, nose or mouth could lead to the spread of flu.
How do we keep our kids safe?
With the change in season, every parent gets worried about their child falling sick, but with the right approach, this can be tackled.
- Vaccine: A yearly flu vaccine is the best way to safeguard your child. If a child is above 6 months of age, they should get a flu vaccine each year. Also, as a parent who is tending to the child throughout the day, the adult should get vaccinated. Also, make sure any other caregiver is also vaccinated to keep the spread of seasonal flu at bay.
- Daily precautions: Make sure you stay away from anyone who is sick or suffering from flu. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough to avoid the spread of any virus or germs. Wash your hands regularly and refrain from touching your eyes, nose, or mouth often. Disinfect surfaces that are touched regularly.
- Basic hygiene measures: Make sure your surroundings are neat and clean. Change the bed sheets regularly. Use tissues or a napkin to cover the mouth.3
- Be watchful: Keep an eye on your child’s health and if you notice any signs of flu-like weakness, running nose, or lethargy, visit your paediatrician immediately.
Many people regard seasonal flu as a regular cold, but it can get grave and lead to hospitalization if due care is not taken. Senior citizens, young kids, expecting mothers, and people with medical history are more susceptible to this flu. they say- “prevention is better than cure” we should make sure we get our kids vaccinated for flu on time. Let’s join hands in the #FightAgainstFlu.