Seasonal influenza (the flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. The flu can cause moderate to severe illness, and at times even lead to hospitalization or death. The flu is contagious, meaning it spreads from person to person by coughing, sneezing or talking. Children, especially those with chronic medical problems, are particularly at risk for complications from the flu.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital recommends everyone 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine every year to reduce the chance of becoming sick from the flu. Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect your children, yourself and everyone around you. The experts at Nationwide Children’s are here to help you understand the facts about seasonal flu.
Visitor Restrictions During Flu Season
Learn more about visitor restrictions during the peak viral season.
All Nationwide Children's Hospital employees are required to get the annual flu vaccine.
Steps You Can Take to Help Keep Yourself and Your Family From Getting Sick
Good hand washing is key to preventing the spread of germs.
- Wash for at least 15 seconds with soap and water.
- Turn the faucet off with a paper towel.
- Alcohol-based hand rub is also effective.
- Wash your hands often throughout the day.
- Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, after you cough or sneeze, and before eating.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Give your immune system a boost by:
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Getting plenty of exercise
- Eating healthy foods
- Drinking plenty of fluids
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I know the flu vaccine is safe?
- Sometimes my child gets a little fever or some body aches after receiving the flu vaccine. Is that normal?
- My child is sick with flu symptoms – fever, cough, body aches and chills. What is the best way for me to take care of him if I’m suspecting the flu and when should I pick up the phone and call the doctor?
- Are there certain children that are more at risk from flu and complications from flu?
- What are the best ways to prevent the flu?