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Tips For Taking Care Of Children With The Flu

Tips for taking care of children (and other household members) with the flu.

Stay home if you or your child is sick.

Keeping sick students home means that they keep their viruses to themselves rather than sharing them with others.  Stay home even if taking antiviral medicines.  Do not return to school until fever free (100 degrees F or higher is considered "a fever") for at least 24 hours after taking fever-reducing medications (ex. Tylenol/Motrin).

Cover coughs and sneezes.

Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often and especially after coughing or sneezing.

Keep sick househhold members in a separate room.

Designate a "sick room" in the house to limit contact with household members who are sick.  Consider designating a single person as the main caregiver for the sick person.

Monitor the health of the sick child and any other household member.

Check for fever and other symptoms of flu (headache, sore throat,cough, body aches, fatigue).  If you are not able to measure a temperature, the sick person might have a fever if he/she feels warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering.

Watch for emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention.

Fast breathing or trouble breathing

Bluish or gray skin color

Not drinking enough fluids

Not urinating or not tears when crying

Severe or persistent vomiting

Not waking up or not interacting

Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

Sudden dizziness


Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Check with your doctor about any special care.

For any household members who may be at higher risk for complications from flu.  This includes children under the age of 5 years, pregnant women, people of any age that have a chronic medical condition (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people 65 years of age and older.

Have the sick houshold member wear a facemask.

If available and tolerable.  This is when sharing common spaces with other household members to help prevent spreading the virus to others.  This is especially important if other household members are at high risk for complications from flu.

Ask your doctor about antiviral medicines or fever-reducing medicines.

Do not give aspirin to children or teenagers - this can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye's syndrome.

Make sure sick to get plenty of rest and drink clear fluids.

This includes water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants.  This is to keep from getting dehydrated.

Thank you for your help in reducing the spread of flu illnesses in the school setting and in the community!

For additional Flu information visit: