How to Prevent Flu in Young Children
Influenza (the flu) is a respiratory illness. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The flu is caused by influenza viruses and is contagious
- An influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your child against the flu.
- You should get a flu vaccine, and make sure that other caregivers and household members also get vaccinated each year: by getting a vaccine you minimize the risk of getting and spreading the flu to the child.
- Infants younger than 6 months old are at high risk for serious flu-related complications, however, they cannot get vaccinated for influenza.
- Children 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine each year.
Take Daily Preventive Actions
Certain everyday preventive actions can help keep flu from spreading.
Protect yourself and your infant by routinely taking these actions:
- Keep yourself and your child away from someone who is sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you come home from public places, or when you cough or sneeze.
- If soap and water out of reach, carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- To minimize spreading the germs do you best to avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes.
- Carry a tissue and cover your nose and mouth when you are sneezing or coughing — dispose of the tissue once you use it.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched items, especially when someone is ill. Clean the toys, door and faucet knobs, and other areas, such as countertop areas.
- If you get the flu symptoms, be considerate: if possible, avoid contact with others, including your child, so that you don’t spread the possible illness.