Teach your kids how to avoid the flu

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Child Health News J E 4

OTTAWA, Nov. 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Autumn signals the end of summer and the start of the flu season, which typically runs from November to April. Children are also back at school — a prime location for sharing germs, including flu bugs.

Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu vaccine every year to protect against the flu.

The flu can cause serious problems that could lead to hospitalization, or even death. Evidence shows that young children are hospitalized by the flu more than any other vaccine-preventable disease.

Commonly referred to as "the flu," influenza is an acute viral respiratory infection. The flu can spread easily through droplets from coughing or sneezing, and by touching commonly shared objects (e.g., door knobs, light switches, toys, mobile devices). Talk to your children about practicing good health habits at school and at home to prevent the flu and avoid spreading it to others.

In addition to getting the flu vaccine for protection, teach your kids to:

  • wash their hands frequently and thoroughly;
  • cough and sneeze into the bend of their arm, not their hand;
  • avoid touching their nose, mouth or eyes with their hands (no nail biting!);
  • eat healthy foods and be active to keep their immune system strong;
  • keep shared surfaces and objects clean; and
  • get plenty of rest.

If your child develops the flu, keep him or her at home to avoid contact with other people until the symptoms are gone. This will help prevent spreading the virus.

Did you know? Children under 5 are at higher risk of serious complications, such as pneumonia, from the flu? Their immune systems are still developing, making infections harder to fight.

To learn more and to find out where to get the flu vaccine, visit 


SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada



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