Protect kids from the flu

Think your child’s bout with sickness this winter has been particularly nasty? You’re right. This year has seen Australia’s worst flu season on record, with more than 70,000 flu cases reported, and more than twice as many people in NSW with the flu compared to the same time last year. So yeah, it’s pretty bad.

What’s even scarier about these facts is that it’s mostly kids. Children younger than nine accounted for close to a quarter of all NSW sufferers in the month of July, with newborns and toddlers being hit the hardest.

It’s estimated that less than 10 per cent of children are currently vaccinated for the flu. As kids are the most likely to spread the sickness, many health professionals are urging parents that it’s not too late to get the shot.

Unfortunately, the worst of the flu epidemic isn’t over just yet. According to NSW Health, influenza activity is expected to remain high for at least the next few weeks, until after spring arrives.

The influenza is super-contagious and schools can be breeding grounds for germs. The flu is spread through the air (coughing and sneezing) and by touching things that someone else has sneezed or coughed on. It’s important to know what to look out for if if you or your child is sick and how to prevent it.

Flu signs and symptoms:

• Fever
• Sorenesss (aches and pains)
• Headache
• Cough
• Noisy breathing
• Sore throat
• Runny nose
• Tiredness
• Vomiting and/or diarrhoea

How to prevent it:

• Regular hand washing with soap and water
• Not sharing cups or cutlery when sick
• Avoid kisses on the mouth
• Teach kids to cough and sneeze into their elbow
• Immunisation

How to treat it:

The best remedies to help get over the virus is rest, drinking lots of fluids, lozenges or warm drinks to soothe the throat, and paracetamol to ease headaches. However, if you’re concerned about your child, go see your local GP.

For more information about how to keep your kids healthy and safe from viruses like the flu, visit CPR Kids' website.