Advice for Child Caregivers Who Get the Flu
Observe the child in your care closely for symptoms of respiratory illness. If your child develops respiratory symptoms, a fever, or becomes fatigued and less responsive than usual, contact your child’s healthcare provider.If your child does become ill with flu, the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) is approved to treat influenza illness in infants aged 2 weeks and older.
If you live with or care for a young child and you get the flu or get symptoms of the flu, follow the precautions below to help prevent the spread of illness to the child in your care.
How the Flu Spreads
- Flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when those infected with a flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can get in contact with people in close proximity to those individuals.
- Sometimes the droplets may land on the surface or an object and then a healthy person might also get flu by getting in contact with the droplets and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.
Flu Precaution Steps
If the child in your care is young, especially a baby, or if the child has not been vaccinated against the flu, they are very vulnerable to the illness. Be especially careful to follow these steps around them. If you get flu symptoms – which can include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, or sometimes vomiting and diarrhea –you must follow the precautions below:
- Check with your doctor and get the appropriate treatment, if you have the flu.
- Try to bring contact with the child to a minimum, if possible.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, and do not reuse tissues, just throw them away.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or sanitize them by using an alcohol-based hand cleaner or anti-bacterial cleaner frequently.
- If you have sneezed or coughed on your hands, wash and sanitize them immediately.
- Before taking care of the child – that includes changing diapers or bedding, feeding, rocking, playing or reading to your child, – thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
- Take these precautions while you have the flu and for at least 24 hours after your flu symptoms go away.