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.
Do you check your mail daily? The other day I went out to check mine and to my surprise, there were two letters. One letter was from Ivy’s school and another letter from Aria’s school. Both of my girls are in the same school district and both letters read the same thing. “your children can return back to school January 2021.” I froze reading those words because my girls have been home since March 2020 due to the pandemic of course, but this was different. Different because now not only would I have to worry about Covid-19 but also pediatric influenza.
Do you guys remember Med-IQ? Well, I have introduced them to you all a few times in previous blogs. My latest blog which is also part one of this blog, you can read here. If you haven’t got a chance to read, don’t remember, or just plain need a refresher well don’t worry I got you covered. Med-IQ is a company based in Baltimore that works alongside healthcare providers. Providers including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The exceptional company is highly accredited and focuses on bringing providers together to better focus on education that will help them to meet the needs of their patients. Today in part two of my pediatric influenza post, I have teamed up with Med-IQ to further raise awareness for this flu, treatments. Plus what to do when you think your little one may have it.
Nobody’s child is exempt.
Each year millions of little ones contract the flu and nobody’s child is exempt. The flu can affect many little ones of all ages, nationalities, gender, etc. Unfortunately, the flu can leave thousands of littles sick resulting in things such as hospitalization. or sadly death. This flu is especially harmful to those under the age of 5 years old. It has even been estimated that 6% to 12% of them will seek care for flu-like illness every single year this according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This time last year my baby girl Aria was one of them. Aria had just turned 4 years old when less than a few weeks later she contracted what her pediatrician had believed to be the flu. It was an extremely scary time for our family but we got through it. Our sweet girl will be 5 years old in a few days and we are forever grateful for that. The flu is dangerous now more than ever due to Covid-19. As of December, the flu is officially at its peak season. Today it is so important that as parents, caregivers, everyone, and anyone reading this that we educate ourselves on all aspects of the flu for our little ones.
In my last post, I went through an entire list of symptoms little ones may have if they have the flu. Again I will link my post here. You can also check out a super helpful Facebook Live session here. But really quickly a few symptoms that most start to see could be fever, body aches, deep cough, dehydration. These are things to look out for, along with the list of many other symptoms which is definitely worth checking out in one or both of the links above.
I think my child has the flu.
A thought that no parent/caregiver ever wants to think right? Now, this is very important and I would encourage you to please read over each word. Many times parents/caregivers do not immediately recognize this right away. The signs and the symptoms may be brushed off as just a cold (like we thought) or just thought of as something else. But it is vital to catch these symptoms as early as you can so you can intervene. As we talked about before fever, body aches, deep cough, and even dehydration are things to look for and not look over. When intervening with these symptoms right away can prevent further complications such as an ear infection or pneumonia. It could also prevent very serious influenza-related complications for little ones or household members of that little one who are at high risk of getting sick. Please do not hesitate to call the pediatrician asap.
This is a treatment option.
Right now there are four FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by CDC to help treat flu this season. The treatments are as followed:
Baloxavir marboxil; A pill vs. Oseltamivir phosphate (also known asTamiflu) which is a 5 day treatment.
Oseltamivir phosphate: A pill.
Peramivir: A liquid.
Zanamivir: A powder.
Antiviral treatment is recommended as soon as possible for the flu and are also recommended for those who are hospitalized, at higher risk (under age of 5), or complicated, severe, or progressive illness. Just like any medications, there are risks. The risk includes things like duration of symptoms, risk of some complications (eg, bronchitis, otitis media, pneumonia), hospitalization, and more. I cannot stress enough it’s important to always talk to your little one’s pediatrician first to discuss what is best for your little one and their case.
The results are now in.
In our last blog post, we had a survey that asked many parents/caregivers questions about the flu. The results came in as followed:
40% of participants are at least moderately worried about the upcoming flu season.
32% of the participants hadn’t yet discussed with their clinician how to prevent seasonal flu in their household. This is critical- especially this year.
31% of participants said they are uncomfortable discussing the flu symptoms with their providers.
61% of participants said they did not receive antiviral medication in preventing them from catching the flu.
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.
So friends I hope this blog helps you to be more aware of pediatric influenza and gives you more information on treatment options. Be sure to take the survey above and always speak to your pediatrician for your concerns. Thanks for reading and I hope you and your little ones stay safe this flu season.