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Flu Resources

Girl holding a tissue up to her nose and mouth

It's Flu Season

Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, about 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of flu-related complications.

At Children’s National Hospital, we take the flu very seriously, which is why we screen all inpatient-area visitors at our Welcome Desk to protect our patients. As part of our screening, we will ask if you’ve been sick with any of the following symptoms:

  • 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 group 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 group has been sick, but have been excused and must go up to an inpatient unit, we will ask you to wear a mask. You may be asked additional questions on the unit.

During flu season, Children's National Hospital restricts any visitor under the age of 10 to visit inpatient units at any time.  Please plan accordingly. 

Protecting Your Family from the Flu

The flu vaccine is an effective way to prevent or reduce the severity of flu symptoms. Learn more about the flu and the flu vaccine from our experts:

If you still have questions about the flu or flu vaccine after reading our additional resources below, consult with your child's doctor. You can also submit questions to Rise and Shine, our parenting advice site, and look for an answer from one of our experts in the coming weeks.

Getting the Flu Vaccine

  • Who should get vaccinated?

Flu Prevention Tips

  • Get vaccinated
  • Avoid close contact
  • Cover your cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid crowded areas
  • Don't share germs
  • Disinfect your home
  • Keep germs away from others

When Your Child is Hospitalized for the Flu

  • Maintain your own good health
  • Don't be alarmed by staff wearing masks
  • Other things to consider
  • To protect our patients and staff, we ask you to: