Every year, millions of American children fall sick due to the seasonal flu in winter. Out of these, thousands are hospitalized, and many lose their precious lives. The best way to keep your little one safe is to educate yourself about the condition, its symptoms, and possible treatment options.

What Causes Flu Among Children?

Three different types of flu viruses cause flu.

Influenza types A and B are known to cause widespread flu throughout the US every winter. These viruses and their strains are incredibly powerful and result in a considerable number of hospitalization and deaths among people of all ages. The flu is still a common epidemic in the US because the virus strains tend to mutate. This means that your child is exposed to a newer type of virus every year.

On the other hand, influenza type C is caused by a mild strain that results in mild to no symptoms. This is why influenza type C is not a significant public health concern in the US.

How Is the Flu Passed on From One Child to Another?

The flu virus essentially passes on from one child to another via coughing or sneezing. It can also survive on surfaces like toys, doorknobs, phones, and countertops for a while and transmit via touch.

Your child may come in contact with the virus by touching a surface that was previously touched by an infected person. Children are more susceptible to picking up the virus because they tend to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth more often.

On average, a virus carrier is contagious nearly 24 hours before the onset of the symptoms and until seven days of the illness.

A small boy with winter flu accompanying his parents to a pediatrician clinic.

Flu-Related Complications

According to the CDC, children younger than 5 years are at a greater risk of developing complications that are flu-related. Children 2 years and under are even more susceptible. The most common complications include dehydration, pneumonia, sinus problems, ear infections, and even brain dysfunction and long-term problems like asthma. Back in 2010, as many as 7,000–26,000 children in the US were hospitalized due to flu—most of which were under the age of 5.

The best way to keep your child safe from the winter flu is to get them vaccinated as required and watch out for the symptoms. If they have a high fever along with sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, and body ache, reach out to a pediatric clinic as soon as possible.

A Thru Z Pediatrics is a leading pediatrician clinics in San Antonio, Texas. We currently have two locations—Stone Oak and Pediatrician Medical center. Request an appointment online.

Find out more about the best Pediatrician San Antonio here.