The number of flu patients and hospitalizations are rising every day. “Influenza activity increased again according to the latest FluView report. All U.S. states but Hawaii continue to report widespread flu activity and the number of states experiencing “high” influenza activity increased from 32 states plus New York City and Puerto Rico to 39 states plus New York City and Puerto Rico. Indicators used to track influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity are now higher than what was seen during the peak of the 2014-2015 season.”(CDC) It can be hard to know what to do and how to make the best decisions to protect yourself from an outbreak - and even scarier when you have a little one. Newborn babies don’t have the antibodies to fight off colds or viruses, which makes them more susceptible to getting sick.
Here a few tips to protect yourself and your baby from getting the flu.
Tips to protect baby:
Keep Them Close. If you have to head out of the house with the baby, make sure to keep them close. Stay away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. The best ways to do this is by wearing baby or putting them in a stroller with a light blanket covering them.
Be Cautious of Company. It is always a good idea to be cautious when having family and friends over to see the baby but it's important to take extra preventative measures when it is flu season. Don’t allow company over who have recently been sick and if you do make sure they are fever and symptom-free for at least 24 hours.
Suds + Sanitize. Everytime you and baby use the bathroom, enter a public place, or eat you should wash your hands along with baby’s. If unable to do so the second best thing is to sanitize. Carry a travel-sized alcohol-based sanitizer and keep one in the house for guests to use.
Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be one of the best things for your baby’s immune system especially when they are sick. When a baby breastfeeds their saliva backwashes into the breast and our bodies make antibodies to protect them and feed them the nutrients they need to fight the illness.
To learn more about breastfeeding through colds and flu check out, Breastfeeding USA [link]
Signs and symptoms that your baby might have the flu:
- a sore throat
- fever (usually about 101)
- loss of appetite
- a runny nose
- a cough (usually loud and dry)
- body aches
Signs that you should contact your baby’s doctor immediately:
- fast breathing
- fever with a rash
- no interaction with you
- not drinking any fluids
The best way to check if your baby has influenza is by using a thermometer. These three tools are a lifesaver when it comes to taking your child’s temperature.
This thermometer has a highly sensitive sensor tip which makes it a breeze to check a squirmy babies temperature. It registers the temperature within 15 seconds which is four times faster than conventional thermometers. It is FDA and CE approved, free from BPA, lead, and mercury.
This non-invasive thermometer is perfect for children. The infrared technology requires no direct contact with the body, causing less distress in children. In just ONE second, you can confidently take body temperature with consistent and unfailing accuracy. A quiet mode setting is available to allow scanning without any beeping so you won’t disturb your sleeping child.
Just like the first two this thermometer is especially great for children. It has a revolutionary dual-mode feature. The ear feature is recommended for babies 3-months and above and forehead is suitable for all ages [also, recommended for babies below 3-months old]
To learn more about 2017-2018 influenza season visit, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/
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