Flu in children can be caused by one of three different strains of flu. Yearly seasonal flu outbreaks are caused by types A and B virus. Type C virus causes sporadic outbreaks. Symptoms include high fever, nausea, and vomiting, shaking, chills, aching muscles and joints, and a dry, hacking cough. Children are particularly vulnerable to the spread of flu because they share such close quarters in the classroom and playground. A child can catch flu when he or she inhales infected droplets that are present in the air from another child’s cough or sneeze.
Children and the flu
Flu can sometimes cause complications in children such as ear infections, sinus infections, and pneumonia. The best way to treat children with flu is to make sure they get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. The can also be given ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce fever symptoms. Children who have a fever that does not lessen with ibuprofen should be admitted to the ER.
Nothing to sneeze at: children and flu shots
A child’s risk of getting flue can be reduced by getting the annual seasonal flu vaccination. Flu shots are available to all children between the ages of six months and 18 years but is only mandatory for school-aged children in the state of Connecticut. As well as the flu shot, children can have the flu nasal spray if there is no history of asthma.
In most cases, the CDC recommends an annual flu shot for children who are aged six months and over. The nasal flu vaccine can be given to healthy children who are age two years and over. Children who are nine years or younger and are getting their first flu shot should have two doses to be administered at least four weeks apart. Children who have previously had two or more doses of the flu shot only need to be given one dose.
A recipe for health: what’s in a flu shot?
A flu injection typically contains a combination of influenza viruses. The injections are not comprised of live viruses. The different viruses are influenza A H3N2, influenza A H1N1, and one or two strains of influenza B viruses. The flu vaccine also contains antibiotics which prevent bacteria growing in it in storage. The flu nasal spray contains a live virus that has been weakened and is not harmful. People who are considering given their child a flu shot should consult a pediatrician.