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The Flu: A Guide For Parents

Currently there are no H1N1 Flu cases reported on UTD campus. We encourage you to check your child for symptoms before bringing them to campus. Also, please remind your camper of steps to take to prevent the spread of germs (see below for more information). If your child does become ill with flu-like symptoms, please inform the campus supervisor.

What is the flu? The flu (influenza) is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs that is caused by influenza virus. The flu can spread from person to person. Most people with flu are sick for about a week, but then feel better. However, some people (especially young children, pregnant women, older people, and people with chronic health problems) can get very sick and some can die.

What are the symptoms of the flu? Most people with the flu feel tired and have fever, headache, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and sore muscles. Some people, especially children, may also have stomach problems and diarrhea. Cough can last two or more weeks.

How does the flu spread? People that have the flu usually cough, sneeze, and have a runny nose, spreading droplets containing virus. Other people can get the flu by breathing in these droplets or getting them in their nose or mouth.

Is there medicine to treat the flu? There are antiviral drugs for children 1 year and older that can make your child feel better, be less contagious, and get better sooner. But these drugs need to be prescribed by a doctor. To be effective, they should be administered the first two days of flu symptoms. Your doctor can discuss with you if these drugs are right for your child.

How can I protect my child against flu? Take time to get a flu vaccine and get your child vaccinated too. Take everyday steps to prevent the spread of germs. This includes:

  • Clean your hands often and cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue
  • Tell your child to:
    • Stay away from people who are sick
    • Clean hands often
    • Keep hands away from face
    • Avoid sharing water bottles, food, utensils, towels and other personal items

What can I do if my child gets sick? Consult your doctor and make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks a lot of fluids.

Can my child go to camp if he or she is sick? No. Your child should stay home to rest and to avoid giving the flu to other children.

Should my child go to camp if other children are sick? If many children get sick, it is up to you to decide whether to send your child to camp. You might want to check with your doctor, especially if your child has other health problems.

What if my child gets sick while at camp? If your child shows symptoms of the flu while at camp, you will be called and asked to pick up your child.

For more information about flu, visit www.cdc.gov/flu

 


Updated: June 24, 2011