Influenza in children, what you need to know

Influenza in children, what you need to know.


Influenza grows steadily and quickly in children, and the circulation of the virus exceeds the high-intensity threshold. The peak is between January and February with an average of 16 cases per thousand assisted in relation to all ages. In particular, it concerns children under the age of five and the incidence has reached 50.2 cases per thousand assisted. An appeal to parents, therefore, comes from pediatricians: vaccinate children against the flu. 

If you haven’t done so yet, don’t waste time: this is the right time to vaccinate your child, even if without chronic diseases or frailties. We remind you that vaccination is particularly recommended for all children aged between 6 months and 6 years, and for all subjects of all ages with chronic pathologies that increase the risk of complications during flu. It is important to underline that by protecting the little ones, we also protect the frail of all ages and the elderly in the family: in view of the Holidays this is another factor not to be overlooked. Christmas is almost there now, and it takes about 15 days to ensure adequate protection generated by the vaccine.

Annamaria Staiano, President of the Italian Society of Pediatrics

Some rules , which in addition to vaccination are able to prevent the flu, are: avoid crowded places, always wash your hands, avoid contact with sick people. In addition, work and home environments must be ventilated by keeping the windows open. The flu manifests itself with fever, chills, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, cough, sore throat and nasal congestion. In infants, however, there is vomiting and diarrhea. The incubation period of the virus is 1-5 days. The duration varies according to the person. There may be complications such as pneumonia and myocarditis in those at risk. 


The child must stay at home until fully recovered in order not to infect classmates. You have to keep the baby at home, hydrate him and take care of him to make him recover as soon as possible. The antibiotic should be administered only in some cases. To relieve the symptoms of the child, paracetamol or ibuprofen can be administered in case of fever or headache, nasal washes for colds. 


The classic vaccine is a quadrivalent that contains inactivated viruses, administered intramuscularly. The intranasal spray vaccine is always a quadrivalent vaccine with live but harmless microorganisms. Using it whether in the form of a spray or prick, as well as according to age and availability of doses, depends on the doctor’s decision.


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