Winter Health Care Tips for Parents
DON'T LET THE FLU BUG YOU
This time of year, the flu becomes common and if you're a parent you may become up in arms when your child shows symptoms.
What should a parent do when their child shows symptoms of flu?
“It's hard to watch your child be sick and not do anything about it, “ says Dr. David Harvey the Health Director for the North Central Health District. “The first thing you need to do is call your physician’s office." In the colder months the virus tends to rear its ugly head. "This time of year there are a lot of respiratory illnesses," he adds.
Dr. Harvey says this time of year the emergency room gets flooded with sick kids and concerned parents.
Dr. Mohamed Elbsha is an emergency room doctor at the Coliseum Medical Center and says it does get crowded. "We often get kids that do not need to come to the ER," he says. Dr. Mohamed's emergency room is often overcrowded with patients with flu like symptoms that may be creating a worse situation.
"Likely, you are going to be sitting in a room with a lot of other people coughing and blowing out the same germs giving you more and more of what you may already have or what you really didn't have when you came in," adds Dr. Harvey.
Influenza in children is common and can be treated at home most times, but there are special conditions.
"Well there are certain symptoms that the parents need to look for,” says Dr. Elbsha. “If they are breathing faster than normal you should think about taking your infant to the ER."
Dr. Christy Peterson is a pediatrician for The Children's Hospital in the Medical Center of Central Georgia. She adds to the list of symptoms to look for, "If their child has asthma or any other chronic illness or conditions, they should bring their child to the doctor if they suspect flu because of the risk, fever, cough's and body aches."
She adds that the key to avoiding the flu in all children and adults is prevention, "The first step is getting the flu shot, but hopefully everybody had the flu shot by now."
So parents, be prepared, to not take you children to the emergency room with the flu, unless their symptoms are extreme.
Dr. Elbsha says, "Most of the flu symptoms can be treated at home."
All three doctors agree that flu prevention is best.
Their number one tips: wash your hands frequently and stay away from other people with visible symptoms.