I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Genentech to write about the signs, symptoms, and treatments available for pediatric influenza. All opinions are my own.
“Hello Ms. R this is Porsha Carr, Aria’s mom. Aria won’t be coming to school today she doesn’t feel well.“
“Hello Ms. R this is Porsha Carr, Aria’s mom again. I know it’s been a few days now but unfortunately, Aria is still sick. Hopeful next will she’ll be back in class.“
“Hello Ms. R this is Porsha Carr again. I’m not sure when Aria will be coming back to school, she has the flu.“
She has pediatric influenza?
These are real-life voicemails that I left on Aria’s teacher’s phone back of February this year. “she has the flu.” “Pediatric influenza”, having to say those words aloud was enough to make any parent uneasy. It’s bad enough that Aria had the flu and was missing weeks of school at this point. But on top of everything else we had the biggest family vacation we had ever planned coming up too. I felt helpless. It was nearly a week and a half of thinking Aria may just have a cold before we got results back from the pediatrician. Hearing that our four-year-old had the flu was not easy. Today I am here to talk about our journey, let you in on what all parents should know about pediatric influenza, plus shed some light on when, where, and how to look for all the signs at the beginning.
Who is Med-IQ?
Med-IQ. Introduced them to my last blog here. But if you haven’t had a chance to read that yet let me give you a quick overview. Med-IQ is a company based in Baltimore that works with healthcare providers like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. The highly accredited company focuses on bringing these providers together that focuses on education that will better help them to meet the needs of their patients.
When I first spoke about Med-IQ I was very honored to be able to speak to you all about migraines and headaches. Which meant a lot to me because of my family’s history. Today I am honored again to be able to bring you this blog all about pediatric influenza for our little ones. As I spoke about earlier I experienced this first hand and anything I can do to help other families I am here for it. I hope that this blog along with the help of Med-IQ will raise awareness and help parents better understand how to protect our littles one against this monster, aka the flu.
Not so fun flu facts.
Every year millions of little ones contract the flu. Unfortunately, this can lead to hospitalization or worst death. It has been estimated that 6 to 12% of little ones have to seek care for flu-like related illnesses each year. In that percentage, 41% of them also experience flu-related complications. Some of the complications may include things such as:
and so much more.
Little ones under the age of 5 like Aria are particularly the largest proportion of patients at risk. They are even more likely to spread the flu according to doctors. For Aria, this was her first year in preschool, and up until January of this year, she had been okay. Yes, she got cold’s here and there like any kid in their first year of school. But we had no idea that she would ever bring home the flu.
Like all the other times my husband and I just figured it was another cold. Little did we know when little ones contract the flu, a delay in receiving treatment can increase the serious risk of flu-related complications not only for Aria but for us, her sister, grandmother, or other household members. This as well prevents initiation of any anti-viral treatments which are the most effective within the first couple of day of the onset of flu symptoms. Isn’t that wild to think that it cannot only hurt your little one but the rest of the family as well. It gives me chills just thinking about it. So how do you spot the flu and recognize the symptoms at first sight? When do you call the doctor? A question that may be on all of our minds. What is the difference between the flu and Covid-19?
How do you know if it’s the flu?
Aria had been sick for a while and when we figure out this was more than a cold, we immediately contacted her pediatrician. They had us bring Aria in and she had all the symptoms of the flu. She got tested and days later we got the call to confirm. What did we do to treat her? Well, I will get into that in our next blog. But for now what symptoms should you look for if you think your little one has the flu?
If you notice any of these symptoms it is best to call your pediatrician right away. Remember it can be crucial to your little one and family. However, it can also further complications such as ear infections or pneumonia. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) when little ones 6 months or older receive the flu shot in the early fall season it is the number one preventative measure. You can read more on that guidance by clicking the link.
While pediatric influenza may different from Covid-19 during the times we currently live in, it’s normal for any parent to worry if their little one may have more than the flu. While I don’t ever want to scare any fellow parent it has been said it can be hard to access that distinction between the two. Covid-19 symptoms can be similar to the flu but may include head congestion and no fever. It’s all very confusing and dangerous which is why I cannot stress this enough call the pediatrician asap! Had my husband and I been more aware of the flu our baby girl may have not gone through all the hell she went through.
The flu & the future.
Today Aria is better than ever. We do a lot more social distancing, washing of our hands, and check all the signs for cold and flu symptoms big and little! Now I help Med-IQ to take pediatric influenza awareness another step:
Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with pediatric influenza, which will help us develop future educational initiatives. Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize and to send a follow-up survey as part of this same initiative.
Click here to take the survey
Links to external sites are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. They are not intended and should not be construed as legal or medical advice, nor are they endorsements of any organization. Med-IQ bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of any external site. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content
I hope this post finds you well, and I hope your little one is happy and health. Until next time friends!