DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Doctors at Dayton Children’s Hospital say they have admitted their first flu patient for the season, urging families to try to protect themselves from getting sick.
With children getting together at school each day, many parents say they’re concerned at this time of year about their kids picking up illnesses.
“My older two, I’m always like, ‘Make sure you wash your hands, keep your hands out of your mouth,'” said Tegan King, a mother of three.
Doctors say that’s good advice – especially now.
“My understanding is it could be a pretty impressive influenza year this year,” said Dr. Sherman Alter, infectious diseases director at Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Alter said that’s why he recommends everyone over the age of six months get a flu shot. With the hospital seeing its first case of flu this season, he said, this is the time of year flu cases begin to pick up.
That’s on top of other common illnesses, including respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.
“RSV doesn’t give you usually that high fever, smacked in the head with a headache, you feel horrible,” Dr. Alter explained. “It’ll be more like a cold that progresses.”
There is not a vaccine for RSV, and symptoms include difficulty breathing, decreased eating and drinking and a lower activity level, Dr. Alter said. Both flu and RSV can be easily spread, which is why it’s important to stay home if you’re sick, he added.
“When you sneeze, use a Kleenex, throw it away,” he said. “Wash your hands. Sneeze into your elbow.”
If your child has any severe symptoms of flu, such as breathing heavily, is less alert, or is blue around the lips or hands, Dr. Alter recommends contacting your physician immediately since he or she may need to go to the emergency room.