With flu season starting in the next few weeks, you may be starting to make preparations for your protection, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The flu affects millions of people per year, with up to 800,000 patients winding up in the hospital due to complications and nearly 60,000 casualties from the virus. With COVID-19 still an ongoing concern worldwide, taking steps to prevent the flu from entering your home are more important than ever. For walk-in flu shots and flu treatment this fall and winter, you can visit AFC Urgent Care Lakewood seven days a week. Now is the perfect time to begin talking to your family members about flu prevention.
Encourage your children to take up good health habits
The flu is highly contagious, spreading through exposure to infected patients as well as infected surfaces. The virus can live on objects and surfaces for up to several days, where they can quickly spread to a child’s fingers and transmit to the body through their eyes, nose or mouth when touched before hands are washed. Take this time while your child is home to teach them the importance of washing their hands and avoiding touching their faces with unwashed hands. A child who falls ill with the flu is likely to spread the virus through the rest of the home, where parents can bring it into work with them before symptoms begin and they realize they are sick. Other habits you will be able to teach your child include:
- Covering their nose and mouth with the crook of their elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and disposing of tissues immediately after use.
- Learning the symptoms of feeling unwell and when they may need to stay home from school for the day. A fever or stomach ache should keep them home for at least 24 hours to monitor for additional symptoms or for the fever to break.
- Wipe down any common play areas or toys with disinfectant wipes at least twice a day to reduce and kill germs.
When to get a flu shot
The flu shot is the most effective way to prevent catching the flu virus and is available to walk-in patients seven days a week after AFC Urgent Care Lakewood gets our supply of vaccines. The flu shot is recommended for all patients over the age of six months old, especially those considered to be high risk for complications including senior citizens, pregnant women, patients with chronic health conditions and patients who are immunocompromised. The vaccine takes about two weeks to form the necessary antibodies and take effect, which is why it benefits you to get the shot as soon as possible. By getting the flu shot early, your body has time to adjust and immunize before the virus begins to spread through your community.