Flu Specialist

Kansas City Pediatrics

Pediatrics located in Leawood, KS

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young children are at a much higher risk than adults for severe complications of the flu. Scott Dattel, MD, FAAP, and the team at Kansas City Pediatrics in Kansas City, Missouri, offer flu vaccines to help your child avoid the flu and compassionate care when your child has flu symptoms. For flu prevention and treatment, call or schedule an appointment online.

Flu Q & A

What is the flu?  

The flu is a highly contagious illness that primarily affects the respiratory system. The influenza virus causes the flu and is most active during the colder months of the year. Flu season is considered from October to May in the United States. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children five years old and younger are at high risk for getting the flu and having dangerous complications of the flu. Children under two years old and those who have a chronic illness, such as asthma, are at a particularly high risk of having severe complications from the flu. 

The annual flu vaccination helps to reduce the risk of contracting the flu. The CDC recommends that children over six months of age receive some form of the flu vaccine each year.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms look similar to a cold; however, different viruses cause these illnesses. Flu symptoms are typically more severe and include: 

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Ear pain or a headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

Symptoms may last a week or more. The flu is contagious up to a day before someone shows signs, which is why it spreads so quickly. Once you realize your child has had exposure to the flu, they may already have the infection themselves. 

What are the possible complications of the flu?

Especially for children, those who get the flu virus are susceptible to complications, such as:

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Asthma flare-ups

Early treatment from Kansas City Pediatrics of your child’s flu symptoms may help decrease their risk for complications and prevent the spread of infection to others. 

What are the treatments for the flu?

Kansas City Pediatrics offers a rapid flu swab test that can help confirm if your child’s symptoms are because of the flu virus. Antibiotics cannot treat viral infections, so treatment focuses on preventing complications and soothing symptoms.  

  • Drinking lots of fluid
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Taking a mild pain-reliever
  • Prescribing anti-viral medication if needed
  • Monitoring fever and other symptoms

Symptoms typically last about a week. As long as they show signs of the flu, your child must stay away from other children or adults to avoid spreading the virus. 

For a flu vaccine or treatment of your child’s flu symptoms, call or schedule an appointment online with Kansas City Pediatrics.