Flu Resource Center

Flu Season is Here

There has been increased flu activity in our region. Children’s National has information and tips on how to prevent the flu.

To protect our patients, we now ask all visitors to inpatient areas if they have been sick with any of the following symptoms in the last five days:

  • Fever, chills, body aches and/or fatigue (very tired)
  • Cough, stuffy/runny nose or sore throat
  • Rash or other skin infections
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

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.

Health Habits to Prevent the Flu

Health Habits to Prevent the Flu

While vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, good health habits can help stop the spread of illness and help prevent others from getting sick, too.

These include:

  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school.
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food such as fruits and vegetables

Is Your Child in the Hospital?

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

Learn more