They are words no father wants to hear. They never come out as a statement, but a groan, a plea to get you to make whatever it is that has caused this uncomfortable feeling to stop and go away. Here are some quick tips from Flu.gov on ways to recognize flu symptoms, ways to tell if that terrible feeling is the flu or a cold, and ways to prevent the flu in you and your children.
Flu symptoms include:
- A 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
- A cough and/or sore throat
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Headaches and/or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
Is it the flu or a cold?
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Your health care provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether you have the flu or just a cold.
Prevention & Staying Healthy
- Vaccination. If you and your children have not gotten a flu shot – or the nasal spray vaccination – it is not too late. If you get the flu vaccine, you are 60% less likely to need treatment for the flu by a healthcare provider. Getting the vaccine has been shown to offer substantial other benefits including reducing illness, antibiotic use, time lost from work, hospitalizations, and deaths.
- Visit the Flu.Gov Vaccine Finder to find a provider near you. Enter your zip code in the box mid-way down the page.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
If you are in need of health insurance coverage, visit HealthCare.Gov by February 15, 2015 to learn more about options and enroll in coverage for 2015.
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse