Keep Your Family Flu-Free: Get Vaccinated

Since the influenza virus is unpredictable and can result in serious infections, the best thing you can do to protect your family is to get vaccinated. A flu shot can be lifesaving, especially for vulnerable populations. 

"As we continue to face COVID-19, you should wear your masks, wash your hands and watch your distance by keeping space between you and others,” says James Fortenberry, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “And this year—more than ever—it’s important to get your flu shot. These precautions will help reduce the risk of spreading of all respiratory illnesses.”

How Do I Know if it’s the Flu?

The flu is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. It can be mild or severe, and in some extreme cases it can lead to death. The flu can be especially dangerous for people who have a chronic illness or a weakened immune system.

Common flu symptoms can include:

  • Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

How do flu symptoms differ from COVID-19?

While many flu symptoms are similar to symptoms of COVID-19, the most distinctive difference is loss of taste and smell.

And because many symptoms do overlap, preventing a flu infection by getting your annual flu shot could help reduce confusion or concerns about possible COVID-19 infection in your family.

Should I take my child to the doctor for flu symptoms?

If you think your child has flu symptoms and are wondering whether you should seek medical care, contact your child’s pediatrician. Many pediatricians also offer after-hours care during flu season.

Preventing and Treating the Flu

How can I prevent the flu?

The flu is common but often unpredictable. The best way to keep your family healthy is to stay up to date on your annual flu vaccinations.

Contact your child's pediatrician or find a facility near you that offers the flu vaccine using the Healthmap Vaccine Finder.

You can also help keep your family well by:

  • Staying away from others with fever, cough or runny nose.
  • Encouraging frequent hand-washing.
  • Watching your distance by keeping space between you and others
  • Keeping noses and mouths covered when coughing or sneezing.
  • Making sure your family members are up to date on their vaccinations.
  • Keeping hard surfaces clean to help prevent the spread of germs.
  • Giving your child’s immune system a boost with plenty of sleep, exercise and a nutrient-rich diet full of flu-fighting fruits, vegetables and protein.

Remember, it’s never too late to get a flu shot. 

How can I treat the flu?

If you suspect your child has the flu, provide them with plenty of fluids and lots of rest at home. To treat the flu at home, you can:

  • Reduce fever and ease body aches with children's ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Advil or Tylenol). Aspirin and aspirin-containing products (such as Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, and Alka-Seltzer, among others) shouldn’t be given to children or adolescents who have flu-like symptoms, unless instructed by a physician to be given for other medical reasons.
    • Practice medication safety. To treat flu symptoms such as fever and body aches, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used. Do not use aspirin, aspirin-containing products, or cough and cold medicines. Be mindful of using more than one over-the-counter medicine that contains acetaminophen, as too much can be fatal.
  • Offer plenty of fluids to help prevent dehydration. Soft fruits, blended frozen juice drinks and ice pops can help keep your child hydrated.
  • Encourage bed rest.

Urgent Care Wait Times

We provide wait times for our Urgent Care Centers to help you choose the Children's Urgent Care Center location and time of day that works best for your family.

View our wait times

When deciding which center to visit, consider both driving times and wait times. The closest center to you may have a longer wait time than others. No appointment is necessary.

In case of an urgent concern or emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away.

*If wait time is listed as "unavailable," the center is open and we can accept walk-in patients. Wait times are updated every minute and are estimates based on the average time it takes for a patient to be placed in an exam room. Wait times begin 30 minutes after we open and stop 15 minutes before we close.