The flu is dangerous for everyone, but it can be deadly for children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Specific strains like Influenza B are much more difficult for children to fight off, and tragically this year the U.S. is seeing the highest number of pediatric flu-related deaths since 2003. Just this week, a child in Chicago became the first child in the state to die from the flu this season.
Parents need to be on the alert. The flu is not to be taken lightly, as it can turn deadly in an instant and put children at risk of other serious illnesses like pneumonia. Chicago hospitals report that the flu is hitting harder and earlier than usual this year.
If you suspect your child has the flu, seek immediate medical treatment if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Return of flu-like symptoms with worsened fever, cough
- Fast or trouble breathing
- Cyanosis, a bluish discoloration of the skin
- Dehydration, a lack of fluid consumption (no tears with crying, dry lips and mouth, no urination in more than eight hours)
- Severe lethargy