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Flu Resource Center

While flu season has been declared over, visitors to inpatient areas at Children's National will continue to be screened at the Welcome Desk to protect our patients. We now ask all visitors to inpatient areas if they have been sick with any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever, chills, body aches and/or fatigue (very tired)
  • Cough, stuffy/runny nose or sore throat

If you or anyone in your party has been sick with any of the above symptoms in the last five days, we ask that you do not visit the patient.

If you or anyone in your party has been sick, but must accompany a child to go up to an inpatient unit, we will ask you to wear a mask and will ask you more questions on the unit.

Flu Prevention Tips

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting yearly vaccines. The influenza vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu. 

Plan to get your influenza vaccine early for you and your family for the best protection throughout the flu season, which typically ends in early spring.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone age 6 months and older get a yearly influenza vaccine. Children younger than 6 months old are too young to get the influenza vaccine, so the best way to protect them is to make sure other people in their families get their flu shots.

Plan to get your flu vaccines early, especially if you or your children are part of one of the following groups:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children 6 months and older; consult a pediatrician to determine if your child requires two doses of influenza vaccine given at least 28 days apart
  • Anyone 6 months or older with a chronic health problem such as asthma, kidney disorders, heart disease, cancer or an impaired immune system
  • Adults 50 or older who may be at high risk to get flu complications

“Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old,” according to the CDC. Each year, about 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of flu-related complications.

When Your Child is Hospitalized for the Flu

When Your Child is Hospitalized for the Flu

Maintain Your Own Good Health

  • Consider getting a flu shot.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the hospital. If you cannot find a sink or sanitizer, ask a staff member for help.

Don't Be Alarmed by Staff Wearing Masks

  • Your child's doctors, nurses, and other caregivers may wear yellow gowns and masks when examining your child. They must wear these items to protect themselves from getting the flu and from spreading it to other patients.

Other Things to Consider

  • Avoid bringing young siblings of your child to visit while in the hospital.
  • Relatives that do not live with the child or who have not been in recent contact could get the flu if they visit. Discuss this with family members before allowing them to visit.

To protect our patients and staff, we ask you to:

  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth with a tissue and throw it in the trash after use. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow, not your hand.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands when entering and leaving your child's room.
  • It is ok to remind your child's caregivers to wash their hands before examining your child.
  • Notify your child's caregiver immediately if you develop the following symptoms: fever, headache, chills and/or fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea.

More information about Pediatric Influenza can be found here.

Is Your Child in the Hospital?

If your child is in the hospital with the flu, there are guidelines you should know.

Learn more