Influenza Check List for Parents

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What is influenza (flu)?

Influenza (flu) is a respiratory disease caused by a virus  that attacks the nose, throat, and lungs. It can be mild, but is sometimes  severe and at times can lead to death. It is not the same as the “stomach flu.”

What are the symptoms of flu?

Flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat,  headache, extreme tiredness, and body aches. These symptoms come on quickly and  can be bad enough to keep you in bed for several days.

Your child may have been exposed to: Influenza (Flu)

  • Influenza (also known as flu) is a common viral respiratory infection. Influenza is not “stomach flu”, a term used by some to describe illnesses causing vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If you think your child has the flu, tell your childcare provider or call the school.
  • Keep your child home from childcare and school until 24 hours after fever is gone (without the use of a fever reducing medicine) and your child is healthy enough for routine activities.
  • Do not give aspirin or salicylate-containing medicines to anyone under 18 years of age.
  • For more information,  call your local health department.


Your child may have chills, body aches, fever, and headache. Your child may also have a cough, runny or stuffy nose, and sore throat.
Illness may last up to 7 days.

If your child has been infected, it may take 1 to 4 days (usually 2 days) for symptoms to start.


• By coughing or sneezing.
• By touching contaminated hands, objects, or surfaces.
Contagious period
During the 24 hours before and up to 7 days after the illness begins.
Call your health care provider
• If anyone in your home has a high fever and a coughs.

Antibiotics do not work for illnesses caused by a virus, including influenza.

• Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Use a tissue or your sleeve. Dispose of used tissues in the trash.
• Wash hands after touching anything that could be contaminated with secretions from the nose or mouth. Your child may need help with handwashing.
• Do not share anything that goes into the mouth, such as drinking cups, straws, and water bottles.
• Clean and disinfect anything that comes in contact with secretions from the nose or mouth. Use a product that kills germs.
• Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone older than six months of age. Ask your health care provider about flu vaccine.