Dr Mark Rosenthal

MD MB ChB FRCP FRCPCH BSc

Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8832

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

What You Need To Know About Flu Season

Flu season is the part of the year when you are most likely to catch influenza. Although it is possible to get flu at any point in the year, it tends to spread more quickly during the colder winter months, just like the common cold and other kinds of viral infection in children.


 

When Is Flu Season? Flu season in the UK usually starts in about October. It peaks in January and February, and it can go on until as late as May during a bad year.

 

How Should You Prepare for Flu Season? If you are at high risk of flu then your doctor may recommend having the seasonal flu vaccine. The vaccine can protect you against the strain of flu that has been identified as the biggest threat for the current flu season. However, you’ll still be vulnerable to other strains of flu.

 

What Can You Do To Reduce The Risk During Flu Season? Although it’s impossible to prevent all viral infection in children, there are a few things you can do to help keep your family healthy during flu season.

  1. Make sure everyone’s eating well, with lots of fruit and vegetables to keep their immune systems at their best.
  2. Wrap up and take the kids to play outside regularly, as exercise is great for immunity and general health. If it’s too wet to go out, find an indoor activity that will get them moving.
  3. Be strict about bedtimes. Lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, so make sure everyone is well rested.

 

How to Stop the Spread of Flu If someone in the family is unfortunate enough to catch the flu despite these precautions, there are some important steps to take to prevent it from spreading further. You might be able to prevent viral infection in children from spreading to the rest of the family or going round the whole school.

  1. Keep kids home when they’re ill
  2. Wipe hands and noses frequently or ensure that older children are using tissues to catch coughs and sneezes
  3. Make sure hands are washed regularly, especially before eating
  4. Disinfect toys and surfaces where germs might be lurking