What parents should know when their child has the flu

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Twenty-five more flu deaths have been confirmed in San Diego County, raising the number to 231 deaths so far this season.

The epidemic spans all age ranges from the very old to the very young.

The virus in San Diego County shows no signs yet of slowing down.

For many parents, that’s triggered a lot of apprehension and questions about what to do if their child gets the flu.

Daniel Lichtmann, a pediatrician at the Scripps Health Clinic in Carmel Valley said a child with the flu will typically have a high fever, body aches and vomiting. A child may need more intensive care if a parent notices other signs such as labored breathing, or it appears the child is working hard to get a breath in.

Ligchtmann also said warning signs might include lethargy or difficulty arousing the child and any signs of serious dehydration.

The Scripps pediatrician said a fever that seems to subside, only to return may be another indication that the child may have a dangerous bacterial infection.

At the San Diego Family Care clinic in Linda Vista, Dr. Sarah Dixon is also seeing a lot of patients with flu symptoms. Ear infections are a common problem associated with the flu. If a child has a high fever and has not been eating or drinking, Dr. Dixon said parents should take their child to the doctor. Getting medication within 48 hours can make a big difference.

A 1-year-old child was the youngest person in San Diego County to die of the flu this season. Last week, the County Health and Human Services Agency confirmed the death of a 10-year-old.

For most children, the influenza virus will run its course with proper rest and medication.

Instead of rushing to a hospital emergency room, parents may get more immediate help with a simple call to their child’s doctor.

Categories: Health