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How you can protect your kids this flu season

Influenza or 'the flu' is very contagious and spreads quickly and young kids are among those most at risk.

Children under 5 years of age are highly susceptible to catching the flu as their immune systems are still developing.

This also means that the symptoms can be far more severe and sometimes even life-threatening.

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to spread the flu.

A sneeze can send dozens of tiny micro organisms (germs) into the atmosphere. These can then be passed on by anyone who has absorbed them.

Teaching your children healthy habits at a young age is a great way to stop the spread of germs and flu this winter.

St John of God Health Care hand hygiene

Our tips

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow not your hands.
  • Only use your tissue once then throw your dirty tissue in the bin
  • Wash your hands regularly. Particularly when you cough, sneeze or wipe your nose.

Parents can take some simple steps to further prevent the spread

  • When your little one is sick, it is a good idea to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs such as their toys and play area. This will help prevent germs from spreading through the house.
  • Keep your kids at home until they’re better and try not to visit people who are unwell.

Did you know?

If you live in Western Australia, any child from 6 months of age up to 5 years old is eligible to receive the influenza vaccination free of charge.

In other states, children in this age range are eligible if they have a condition that may compromise their immunity or if they are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.

Contact your family GP or health professional to find out more.

About the author

Tanya Mason-Brown is the St John of God Health Care Group Infection Control Coordinator and has more than seven years’ experience in this field. She is also an experience medical laboratory scientist and holds a Masters in Medical Laboratory Science. She has a particular interest in microbiology and infectious diseases.