Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment
Advice from our Pediatric Experts

The flu is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. It can cause mild to severe illness—and can even lead to death. The flu can cause severe illness in healthy children and adults. Flu is especially dangerous for those with chronic illnesses.



    Do not seek out an evaluation for your child simply to get a "flu" test. The "quick tests" for flu that are available can be unreliable.

    At Children's, we use more precise tests for flu. They are only performed on severely ill children or those with higher risk factors for complications, or those requiring hospitalization.

    Flu tests are not routinely used in the Emergency Departments or Urgent Care Centers.


Get Vaccinated

The best way to prevent flu is to talk to your doctor about getting a vaccine that will help protect you and your child. The vaccine is for everyone age 6 months and older and is safe for children. Everyone in your family should get vaccinated to protect children who are too young to get the vaccine.



    No More Excuses

    Operation Prevent FluThe CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot. Protect yourself and your family by getting a flu vaccine every year to fight off the multiple strains of each season's virus. 

    Find the Flu Vaccine

    Use the Healthmap Vaccine Finder to find facilities, including retail clinics, that have the flu vaccine. Contact your physician for more information.


Resources for Parents

Children’s no longer uses the rapid flu test in its hospitals and does not recommend you seek out testing at your pediatrician’s office.

See our frequently asked questions for information about flu vaccinations, symptoms and treatment.

If you think your child might have the flu and are wondering whether you should seek medical assistance, use one of the following resources:

Resources for Physicians

We recommend these tools for community practitioners during flu season.

The Flu: A Respiratory Virus
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