Helping your kids avoid the flu

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Lucas County boy's death is causing concern for some parents in our area wanting to keep their kids safe though this flu season.

Doctors say you should be vigilant to protect your children, but you shouldn't panic.

"It's a scary situation thinking about what could happen to my babies that can't have the flu shot," said Amanda Pillarelli, a Toledo mom.

The Pillarelli's fear for their two-month-old twin boys Luca and Dominic. They are too young for flu shots so Amanda and her husband said they avoid taking them out to keep them healthy.

"It's very scary thinking about going places," said Amanda Pillarelli. "We haven't gone a lot of places, our older kids we made sure to get them the flu shots and I got the flu shot, he got the flu shot, we're all just trying to take precautions."

The twins were just getting a wellness check on Wednesday, but doctors at Franklin Park Pediatrics said parents shouldn't panic.

"Most of us will get the flu, we will be miserable and then we will be fine so it shouldn't be oh my goodness my child coughed I better race into the doctor," said Pediatrician John McBride, a doctor at Franklin Park Pediatrics. "But it should be let's step back, let's take a look at my child, how are they acting?"

Doctor McBride said it can be tough to tell the difference between a cold and the flu, but the flu normally has a high fever, cough, sore throat and body aches. While medicine can slow down the virus it won't get rid of it.

Pediatricians said you should wash your hands regularly, but the best defense is a flu shot, especially for vulnerable children and those with pre-existing conditions.

"Everybody should get a flu shot from six months old up to 106-years-old," said Doctor McBride. "We should all be getting flu shots every year not only to protect ourselves, but to protect those children as well."

Doctors said if your child does get the flu, the medicine is most effective in the first 48-hours. They also suggest you should keep your sick child at home until their fever has been gone for 24 hours without medicine.

It's not too late to get a flu shot this season. Doctors suggest you get the shot if you can because even if it doesn't keep the virus away it can lessen the effect the flu has on you.