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Flu season is typically active between October and May…that’s six months, meaning that flu season is more like a flu year! Being vigilant and keeping yourself and your baby healthy while others are sick isn’t always easy, but with the right knowledge and a little help, you can make your baby’s first flu season an uneventful one.
What’s the flu, and what’s a cold?
A cold is most often a minor infection of the upper respiratory tract, which leads to increased mucus production, coughing, and a minor fever.
Having the flu means you’ve contracted the influenza virus, which can affect the entire body. Though the symptoms are generally the same, the flu is almost always worse than a cold and is more likely to cause additional health problems like pneumonia or dehydration.
How a baby gets the flu
It’s not like your baby is out there getting sneezed on by strangers, so how does a baby contract the flu?
Influenza is typically passed through spit or mucus that makes contact with the eyes or mouth. Think sneezing, talking, or wiping your mouth, then touching someone or something.
Most often, the germs come from other children or a parent. You gave your baby the flu; are you a monster?! No, not at all. It’s very hard to prevent the transmission of germs when you’re making contact with your baby so often.
You can help prevent transmission by diligently washing your hands, as well as your baby’s. Be extra careful about making contact with their nose, mouth, and eyes, and when your baby is over six months, consider getting them an annual flu vaccine.
Three things you can do about it
- Check symptoms: Look for changes in the color of your baby’s mucus, whether they’re making fewer wet diapers, are eating less, or have less energy.
The most important and accurate symptom to monitor is their temperature. If it increases to 100.4° F (38° C) or above, contact your healthcare provider immediately as this is the sign of a contagious viral infection.
- Track their health: Tracking symptoms is one of the best ways to determine if a flu is worsening or getting better. Keep a log of temperatures as you take them, note how many wet diapers are being produced, pay attention to how much your baby is eating, how much sleep they’re getting, and most importantly keep a log of their temperature as this is what pediatricians ask about first.
- Let your healthcare provider know: Speaking of pediatricians, having a log of your baby’s symptoms will allow your healthcare provider to more easily assess your baby’s health. From there, they can help you treat the most severe symptoms or provide additional care as necessary.
Your tool for tackling the flu
9 out of 10 Pediatricians recommend the Kinsa Smart Thermometer. Because temperature is the most important flu symptom to monitor and track, having a reliable thermometer around is important for any new mom.
Kinsa does a lot more than just take and track temperature. Their free app integrates with all Kinsa thermometers, allowing you to create a health profile for every family member so you can easily record their symptoms, fever, diagnosis, and even when you last gave medication. This will give you a detailed health record to share with your healthcare provider.
The Kinsa app also takes some of the worrying out of sick days with real-time guidance to help you decide what to do next. No more unnecessary nights in the ER or off-duty calls to the pediatrician.
Tap the button below to take a look at Kinsa, and learn about all the ways it can bring you some peace of mind during baby’s first flu season. Save 20% on the Kinsa Smart Stick with the code OVIA20.
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