Flu Protection For School-Going Children

Because Your Child Deserves A Happy And Healthy Childhood

For many children, school is a fun place to be. They get to make new friends, learn exciting things and the best part – play endlessly with their friends! But did you know that all it takes is one child to show up in school with flu, then, before you know it, almost the whole class is down with the flu. But why is that?

Children share a close space in the classroom and also things such as toys and colour pencils. This makes them easy targets as the flu is very contagious. [1] Unfortunately, many children still attend school even when they are sick. So they continue to spread the flu virus around, up to 7 days after falling sick or even 1 day before their symptoms show. [2]

The flu is not the same as the common cold and should be taken seriously. The symptoms are more severe[3] and younger children are especially at risk of developing flu complications such as sinus or ear infections, bronchitis, asthma attacks, and encephalitis. [4]

To make matters worse, they could easily infect your whole family with the flu. [5] This is more challenging as you not only have to care for your sick child but the entire family!

Here are 3 steps you can take to make sure your child is well-protected from the flu:

1. Get your child the flu vaccination – it reduces the risk of hospitalisation by a whopping 75%.[6]

2. Teach her/him not to share food or things with friends who have the flu.

3. Encourage your child to practise good personal hygiene by washing his/her hands and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth. [7]

As parents, we always prioritise our child’s health and wellbeing. So, do your part and insist that the school sends children who are down with the flu home.

[1] WebMD. 2017. Children and the flu. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/children-and-flu-influenza#1 [Accessed Dec 5, 2017].
[2] CDC. 2016. Key facts about influenza. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm [Accessed Dec 20, 2017].
[3] Utah Flu Fighters. 2010. Difference Between Cold and Flu Symptoms. http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/influenza/education_mat/ColdvsFlu_Eng.pdf [Accessed Dec 7, 2017] [4] CDC. 2016. Flu symptoms & complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/complications.htm [Accessed Dec 20, 2017] [5] Neuzil et al. 2002. Illness among school children during influenza season. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 156:986-991
[6] Jain et al. 2013. Vaccine for Prevention of Mild and Moderate-to-Severe Influenza in Children. N Engl J Med. 369(26): 2481-2491
[7] CDC. 2016. Preventing the flu: good health habits can help stop germs. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm [Accessed November 7, 2017]