Influenza spreads readily from person to person in schools, workplaces and homes. Everyone over 6 months of age should get the annual flu vaccine to prevent sickness, unnecessary healthcare visits, hospitalizations, and deaths from influenza.
Two doses of flu vaccine may be needed for children ages 6 months to 9 years. Contact your health care provider or pharmacy for advice. The CDC recommends flu shots for all persons ages 6 months and older especially those at risk for complications (pregnant women, persons with asthma, diabetes and other chronic conditions).
People should get vaccinated now, as soon as the vaccine is available from their healthcare provider or pharmacy – protection lasts throughout the flu season.
Avoid the Flu
- Get a Flu Shot. Links to information about where you can get a Flu Shot are listed on the right.
- Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner, especially after coughing or sneezing.
- Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or utensils, and to use a tissue over their nose and mouth for coughs and sneezes, not their hands. They should avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth-germs spread this way
The flu vaccine is available at many healthcare provider offices and pharmacies for those who have insurance or are able to pay for vaccination.
Signs and Symptoms
- Fever (a temperature of 100 degrees F/ 37.8 C or greater as measured by a thermometer) or signs of fever (chills, feeling very warm, having a flushed appearance or sweating)
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Feeling very tired
- Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms include: Check your children before school and keep them home for flu symptoms for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications (medicines that contain Tylenol or Ibuprofen).
Children at school with flu symptoms will be sent home. Also, people at greater risk for complications should call their health care provider right away if they become sick to find out if they should take anti-viral medication.
Please update your contact and emergency contact numbers at your child's school and plan to pick up a sick child within the hour. Parents are advised to arrange for childcare now in case your child becomes ill and is unable to attend school.
To better track flu illness rates, when you report an absence, please tell your school if your student has "flu-like symptoms" (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills).
- The Flu - A Guide for Parents
- What Families and Pregnant Women Need to Know
- Flu Vaccine Finder
- Flu Season and Immunization
- Clinics - Seattle King County Public Health
- Flu.gov - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- Your child and the flu - National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Children, the Flu, and the Flu Vaccine - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Information for Schools & Childcare Providers - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)