Preparing for Flu Season

Flu Season is fast-approaching – be ready and immunize against influenza

ADC Steiner Ranch Pediatrician Dr. Christopher Saenz discussed the upcoming flu season with KXAN’s Gigi Barnett.  How do recognize the difference between influenza and a cold, what do you do if a family members gets the flu and why is there no flu mist available this year?

What are the symptoms of flu?

The symptoms of flu are the body’s response to the virus.  Typically with a cold you will experience runny nose, congestion and cough.  However flu symptoms are more significant with the addition of body aches, fever, vomiting and what Dr. Saenz looks for red, watery eyes too.

What should you do if someone in your household has the flu?

Dr. Saenz recommends the following:

  1. Make sure everyone in the household gets their flu shot
  2. Wash your hands  – it’s the best prevention to keep from spreading the flu virus
  3. Keep children away from family members with flu
  4. If needed, purchase face masks at local drugstore while family member is ill.

Why is there no flu mist in 2016?

Earlier this year (2016) the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) issued a statement that the FluMist, over the past several years, was not effective against the flu.  Therefore ADC and many other doctors offices will not be offering FluMist this year.   Leaving parents with the only option of an injectable flu vaccine for children.  So, what should you tell your kids to prepare them for a shot?  Dr. Saenz recommends being upfront with your child.

  • Tell your child that the injection will only hurt for 5 to 10 seconds, which is better than being sick for 5 to 10 days.
  • The shot is the best option for your child and their health
  • You are doing what is best for them and protecting them against a virus that may hospitalize them.