This post is sponsored by Med-IQ, an accredited medical education company that provides an exceptional educational experience for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.
You know what the last thing parents need to deal with right now is? Flu season. And yet, here we are. Rudely, the flu isn’t going to take the year off just because we’re already dealing with a pandemic. To make things EVEN WORSE, flu symptoms and Covid-19 symptoms are really freaking similar.
I am partnering with Med-IQ on this post all about pediatric flu symptoms, and how they compare and contrast to Covid-19 symptoms because this is information any parent of young children can use right now, myself included!
I’m also going to share some advice from doctors Paul G. Auwaerter, MD, Kathryn Birken-Friedman, MD, and John J. Russell, MD, FAAFP about how to prepare for the upcoming flu season in the time of Corona. And at the bottom of the post you’ll find a link to take a survey. Don’t miss it! It won’t take much of your time, and you’ll have the opportunity to be entered to win a $100 gift card just for filling it out.
I’ve had the honor to interview many doctors about various issues since Covid-19 hit earlier this year, and one common theme – no matter the topic- has been to NOT let this pandemic keep you from seeing a doctor for preventative medicine or for issues you don’t think are Covid-19 related.
While many of us are trying to social distance and limit our exposure to other people, it’s important to realize that doctors offices and hospitals remain safe, and we shouldn’t keep ourselves away from them when we need to seek care.
This is an especially important thing to remember as we head into flu season. Preventative care, like getting a flu shot, is just as essential as ever. Flu shots are the #1 way to decrease your child’s chance of getting the flu. The best time to get a flu shot, according to the CDC, is in early fall, so don’t wait!
And if you suspect your child has the flu, seeking treatment EARLY is vital. A delay could mean you won’t be able to treat your child with antiviral medications that can lessen the severity of symptoms and the duration of the illness, and also decrease the likelihood of complications from the flu.
I have personal experience watching one of my children experience a flu-related complication, and it was terrifying. You can read more about Wallace’s febrile seizures here. Ever since then, we are sticklers for getting the flu shot for the whole family as early as recommended, and keeping a close eye for the onset of any flu symptoms.
What’s especially hard about this flu season is many flu symptoms are similar to Covid-19 symptoms.
I wish I had some magic advice to share with you about how to tell the difference between flu and Covid-19, but the consensus amongst the doctors we talked to was that there’s really no way to tell without getting tested.
Instead, I do have some advice for you on what to do to prepare for and prevent both viruses.
- Keep wearing masks! Masks work to decrease the transmission of any virus, not just Covid-19! Keep washing hands, too.
- Check in with your pediatrician now, before anyone is sick, and find out when they would want you to come in if you suspect your child has the flu. Are there symptoms or a temperature they want you to look out for? What is the protocol for bringing your sick child to the office with symptoms of the flu?
The take-aways we want to highlight are that we have to stay vigilant about preventing and early treatment of the flu, especially for children. Covid-19 and the flu share many symptoms, and there’s really no way to know which one you have without a test, so continue to socially distance, wear masks, wash your hands, and maintain communication with your pediatrician. Finally, a flu shot is the best way to reduce your child’s risk of getting the flu.
Listen, I know we could all use a break, and it would be amazing if we could just ignore the possibility of dealing with our kids getting the flu when we’re already overwhelmed just trying to keep them safe from Covid-19. I don’t have any real words of wisdom or inspiration to close this with, so I’ll just rely on one of my favorite TV-moms, Moira Rose, to cheer us all on.
Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with pediatric influenza, which will help us develop future educational initiatives. Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize and to send a follow-up survey as part of this same initiative.
I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Genentech to write about the signs, symptoms and treatments available for pediatric influenza. All opinions are my own.
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