By Kristen Maddoux, PA-C
Flu season is fast approaching and here are some helpful tips to protect yourself and your loved ones. The best protection is prevention! That includes frequent hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, getting plenty of sleep and exercise, and a healthy diet full of good nutrition and vitamins.
Another good protection is receiving a flu shot. Flu shots are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
In addition, to help protect newborns who are too young to get a flu vaccine, make sure everyone else at home or anyone who cares for them is vaccinated.
Most healthy individuals with the flu are sick for 3-7 days, but some get much sicker and may need to be hospitalized. You will probably feel the worst you have ever felt with fever, cough sore throat, headache, chills and muscle aches. Some helpful suggestions for easing your symptoms include drinking warm tea with honey, taking warm vapor showers, taking an appropriate dose of Ibuprofen every 8 hours, drinking lots of fluids, putting Vicks Vapor Rub on your chest/feet, elevating your head when you sleep, and rinsing your sinuses with nasal saline drops.
The flu causes thousands of deaths each year. Between 2004-2018, more than 1,650 children died due to flu in the United States. The CDC reported 172 child deaths last flu season alone. Historically, 80-85 percent of child flu deaths are in unvaccinated children, many of whom were otherwise healthy.
Children have the highest rate of infection from flu and young children are also at higher risk of developing serious complicat
ions. Flu vaccines, which have been available in the United States for more than 50 years, are safe and the best option to help protect children against this potentially deadly disease.
Call Every Child Pediatrics today at 303-450-3690 to schedule your flu shot.
Kristen Maddoux is a Physician Assistant who provides care to patients at our Denver office and at School-Based Health Centers in Aurora. She has been providing care at Every Child Pediatrics since 2004. Learn more about Kristen and our other experienced pediatricians at www.everychildpediatrics.org/about/medical-team/