12-31-2013 (Dayton, OH) -
Due to a spike in positive flu cases at Dayton Children's Hospital, families and friends are asked to please follow the guidelines below while visiting a patient:
To protect our patients during viral season, we are asking anyone who is ill (coughing, sneezing, fever, etc.) to not visit inpatients. While we understand this may cause some families an inconvenience, it is important that our patients not be exposed to illness during their stay with us.
All adults visiting the NICU will be screened for signs of cold and flu and may not visit if showing any symptoms.
Additionally, children younger than 12 years of age will not be able to visit the NICU. Thank you for helping us protect our patients.
Excellent hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses, including the flu. Teach and reinforce these good hand washing habits:
- Use soap and warm water to create a good lather. Wash hands for 20 seconds—about as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are OK if soap and water are not available.
- Make sure you get in between the fingers and under the nails where uninvited germs like to make a home. And don't forget the outside of the thumbs and wrists!
- Rinse and dry well with a clean cloth or paper towel.
“To minimize the germs passed around your family, make frequent hand washing a rule for everyone,” says Alter. “Key times for hand washing include before eating and cooking, after using the restroom, after cleaning the house, after touching animal and family pets, before and after visiting sick friends or relatives, after being outside and after blowing one’s nose, coughing or sneezing.”
In addition to good hand washing, here are a five more things that you can do to prevent getting or spreading the flu.
- Get vaccinated. Every child age six months and older should get the flu vaccine.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If children don't have a tissue, teach them to cough or sneeze into their shirt sleeve.
- Never share cups and eating utensils.
- Keep sick children at home. Children should stay out of school or day care until they are better—usually seven days after the illness starts.
- Eat healthy and get enough sleep.
Start building up your flu defenses today by following these germ busting habits!
What if my child gets the flu?
Even if you follow all the precautions, a child may still come down with the cold or flu. How do you know which is which?
The flu: High fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, cough (sometimes severe), exhaustion, loss of appetite and sore throat.
The cold: Low fever if any, runny nose, little coughing; child's appetite and energy level are usually not affected.
Dr. Alter says the best way to treat children who have the flu is to make sure they get extra rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat light, easy-to-digest foods like applesauce. Go to your pediatrician, family doctor or urgent care if you have any concerns about the flu.
“Parents should pay close attention to children younger than 2 years old because they have smaller airways and cannot handle illness as well as older children or adults would,” says Alter. “Parents should contact a pediatrician if children have any serious symptoms.”
For more information visit our Flu Center.
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