Every parent’s worst nightmare is a sick baby.
When it comes to flu season, those most susceptible to getting sick are those who have already lowered immunities. This includes both our babies and the seniors in our lives.
Children younger than five are at high risk of serious flu-related illnesses, particularly when they are two years old or younger.
Complications from the flu that affect children in this age group can include pneumonia, dehydration, worsening of long-term medical problems like heart disease or asthma, encephalopathy, sinus problems and ear infection.
When you begin to talk about children younger than six months, this is where we talk about serious risk when it comes to flu-related complications. What makes this all the more difficult is that children under the age of six months, should not be having a flu vaccine.
So how do you protect your family from getting ill this winter?
1) Keep everything sanitised
It is of great importance to make sure you are always keeping your baby away from harmful germs, particularly during flu season.
Make sure you carry disinfecting wipes and hand sanitiser everywhere you go, so that you can ensure your little cherub is protected from germs living inside shopping trolleys and on table tops.
Make it a habit to be extra vigilant during the winter months.
2) Get your shots
As babies can’t be vaccinated until they are six months old, it is imperative that the mother is vaccinated during pregnancy.
Your pregnant body passes on antibodies that should last in the baby’s system for about six months.
For children older than six months, it is recommended that they get the flu shot to prevent from any nasty sickness!
3) Enforce a strict visit policy
We know that aunties, uncles, grandparents and friends all want to visit and play with your adorable baby or toddler – but this can be their worse undoing.
It is wise to request that family or friends who are experiencing flu symptoms are asked to postpone visits. This can include anything from fever, cough, sore throat or body aches.
All you need to do is explain why you are asking the person to wait, and let the person know that if the symptoms are gone within 24 hours, they are more than welcome to come and make up for lost time with the precious tot!
4) Cover your baby in public
It is recommended that a baby should stay at least 1.8 metres away from a person who is sick or displaying flu symptoms.
Use a sling or a baby carrier, or cover your baby in public places so that people are discouraged from touching your baby’s face.
5) Keep up the hand washing
For toddlers or young children, it is important to express the importance of continually washing their hands when they are in a school environment.
This will significantly minimise the risk of that child catching, or passion on, any bacteria. When holding or feeding your baby, ensure that you are washing your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based sanitising rub.
It is important to protect your babies and children during flu season – ensure that you take the necessary precautions to keep your whole family happy and healthy.
For more information, visit the team at Padbury Pharmacy.