I Think My Child Has the Flu: Should We Schedule a Telemedicine Visit?

I Think My Child Has the Flu: Should We Schedule a Telemedicine Visit?

The flu is common, affecting millions of Americans each year, many of them children. Because it’s so common, it’s tempting to think it’s not a big deal. 

But the flu can be very serious — even deadly. In fact, about 20,000 kids are hospitalized every year due to serious flu infections and complications.

Getting the annual flu vaccine dramatically reduces the risk that your child will catch the flu or become seriously ill from it. Data show that serious complications and flu-related deaths among children are largely restricted to kids who aren’t vaccinated — and many have no serious underlying medical problems.

If your child does develop flu symptoms, you might be wondering when it’s appropriate to visit the doctor — whether in person or via telehealth. In this blog, our team at Nevada Pediatric Specialists reviews some of the symptoms that can help you decide when it’s time to schedule a telemedicine visit.

Flu basics

Flu is caused by an infection with the influenza virus — typically influenza A or influenza B. These viruses have multiple subtypes, and each year, researchers develop flu vaccines to fight off the subtype that’s most likely to be active in the upcoming flu season.

While flu infections tend to be more common during the cooler months when people tend to stay indoors and in close quarters, it’s important to know that people can contract the flu anytime — which is why it’s so important to learn to recognize its most common symptoms.

Among kids, flu symptoms include:

Flu may also cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some kids, increasing their risk of dehydration.

Flu is most contagious within the first 24 hours of infection, although it can take longer for symptoms to show up. The virus can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing or when kids touch objects contaminated by the virus and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.

When to schedule a telemedicine visit

Telemedicine is a great option for treating flu, colds, and other illnesses. First, by having a visit in your home, your child can continue to rest without the need to get up, get dressed, and wait in a doctor’s office. And second, a home visit avoids spreading the germs to others and protects your child from picking up other illnesses, too.

In general, children with mild symptoms may improve with plenty of rest and fluids combined with over-the-counter medicine to treat muscle aches. But you should definitely call the office if your child’s symptoms get worse, particularly when your child:

Flu symptoms can change quickly among kids, so it’s very important to monitor your child’s symptoms closely.

Bottom line: If you suspect your child has the flu, calling the office is always a good idea. 

During your call, our team can help you decide if scheduling a telemedicine visit is a good idea so a provider can evaluate your child’s symptoms and recommend treatment or if it’s OK for you to provide at-home care while keeping a close eye on your child’s symptoms.

Keeping kids healthy

Helping kids stay healthy is what we do, and our team is committed to working with every child and every family to help patients enjoy optimal health and wellness as they grow and develop. If your child is sick, calling our office is a good first step toward making sure they receive the best care for their needs and for your peace of mind. 

To schedule a telemedicine visit for your child or to learn more about the flu vaccine, call 702-457-5437. You can also book an appointment online with the team at Nevada Pediatric Specialists in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada, today.

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