Help protect children from the flu

Flu vaccine

We are currently seeing a higher than usual number of cases of influenza (seasonal flu). Seasonal flu is a respiratory virus that causes fever, cough, runny nose, congestion, sore throat and body aches. This year, children catching the flu are sicker than those with the flu in the past several seasons. This is similar to what we have been seeing with other respiratory illnesses such as RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).

As the flu season progresses, Dartmouth Health Children's will continue to monitor the situation, expand services where necessary, and keep our community informed.

Schedule your and your child's flu shot today

The good news is that flu shots help make flu illness less serious and can be given to all children over the age of 6 months.

If your child needs a flu shot, contact their primary care provider's office to schedule an appointment or visit your local pharmacy. It's also important that parents, caregivers and those who come in contact with children receive their flu shots.

Many providers offer flu shots as part of a routine medical visit. If you or your child have not been vaccinated, please ask for the vaccine during an office visit.

Dartmouth Health Children's is dedicated to the health and well-being off all infants, children and adolescents in our community. We have been actively monitoring the respiratory illness season and are working to expand services where necessary. While this year has been an unprecedented year for respiratory illness among children, please know that we are here for you every step of the way.

Does every kid with flu need to see a doctor?

No. Most otherwise healthy kids get through the flu without needing a visit. Make sure they drink enough water and are kept comfortable. Fever from the flu usually lasts from 4 to 7 days and a cough may continue for a couple of weeks.

Take your child to the doctor if you notice any of the following with your child:

  • Difficulty breathing, including tugging in at the ribs, breathing fast, wheezing or trouble catching their breath.
  • Dehydration, including not peeing at least every 6 to 8 hours.
  • Your child is acting "wrong," including being unusually sleepy/listless or acting irritable and cannot be consoled.
  • Their fever goes away for a day or two and then returns.
  • Their fever lasts for more than 4 to 7 days.
  • A rash appears during the flu illness.
  • New pain (such as ear pain from an ear infection) or severe pain.
  • A new symptom that worries you.