Skip 
Navigation Link
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
As Schools Reopen, Many Students, Staff Live With High-Risk Family MemberBlack Kids at Higher Odds for ADHDProbiotic Might Help Ease Children's EczemaMore Than 1 in 3 U.S. Pediatricians Dismiss Vaccine-Refusing FamiliesDeath From COVID-19 Very Rare for Americans 21 and Under: ReportAre School Lunches a Ticket to Healthy Eating?Fewer Kids May Be Carrying Coronavirus Without Symptoms Than Believed: StudyAre At-Home 'Learning Pods' the Right Fit for Your Family?Kids at 2 Utah Day Cares Easily Spread COVID to FamiliesChildren Use Both Sides of the Brain to Understand LanguagePlaying Football at Young Age Doesn't Slow Concussion Recovery in CollegeYouth Vaping Down, But Still Popular: CDCOver Half a Million U.S. Kids Already Infected With COVID-19Rates of Child Hospitalization Similar Between COVID-19, Flu: StudyFirst Trial of Gene-Targeted Asthma Rx in Kids Shows PromiseKids Can Have Coronavirus And Antibodies at Same Time: StudyKeep School Sports Safe During PandemicCOVID-19 Precautions Extend to Car Seats, Seat BeltsAHA News: How to Keep Kids Active While Learning From Home – and Why That's VitalDoes TV And Computer Time Affect Kids' Math, Reading?Kids, Teens Usually Have Mild COVID-19 Infections, Rarely Fatal Ones: StudyUSDA Extends Free School Meals Program Amid PandemicTime Spent in Nature Boosts Kids' Well-BeingSweet-Tooth Tendencies Change as Kids Get Older: StudyA Guide to Managing Children's Diabetes During COVID-19U.S. COVID Cases Pass 6 Million, With Infections Rising in YouthsArtificial Pancreas Controls Diabetes in Kids 6 and Up, Clinical Trial ShowsAHA News: As the Coronavirus Upends Schools, Experts Say Don't Forget the ArtsOne Pandemic Silver Lining: Fewer Severe Asthma Attacks in KidsPandemic Learning Can Strain Children's EyesObesity in Youth Could Be Big Risk Factor for MSDon't Count on Vitamin D to Ease Childhood AsthmaHow to Keep Your Kids Trim Through QuarantineFlu Shots for Kids Protect Everybody, Study ShowsPlay It Safe With Allergies, Asthma During Pandemic School YearAnorexia Often Stunts Girls' Growth, Study FindsHelp Your Child Cope With Back-to-School JittersHigh Viral Loads Make Kids 'Silent Spreaders' of COVID-19Many Child Abuse Cases May Be Going Unreported During PandemicPharmacists in All U.S. States Can Give Kids Childhood ShotsAir Pollution Tied to Asthma in Young KidsKids With Special Needs Struggling to Receive Good Care During PandemicAs Pandemic School Year Starts, Survey Shows Most Parents Are OverwhelmedWhen Parents, Grandparents Don't Agree on Childrearing ChoicesFast Food Makes an Unhealthy Comeback Among KidsHelp Your Kids Navigate School Amid a PandemicToo Many Kids Getting Seriously Hurt Riding ATVs: StudySpecial Contact Lenses Can Help Curb Nearsightedness in Kids2 in 3 Parents Nervous About Childhood Vaccines During Pandemic: SurveyStrict, Costly Measures Needed to Reopen Schools: Study
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)
Childhood Special Education
Child Development Theory: Adolescence (12-24)

When Does Your Child's Flu Merit an ER Visit?

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Dec 22nd 2019

new article illustration

SUNDAY, Dec. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's hard not to worry when your child suffers from the flu, but pediatricians say too many parents are taking their sick kids to the emergency room when a doctor's visit would suffice.

"We are seeing a jump in the number of patients coming to our emergency department for flu-like symptoms," said Dr. Michele Walsh, medical director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Vanderbilt University's Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, in Nashville, Tenn.

The hospital has had 30% more emergency department visits in recent weeks compared to the same period in 2018.

"What we are finding is that the majority of these visits could have been averted," Walsh said in a hospital news release. "Many of them don't need to be admitted to the hospital and probably would have been best served by their pediatricians, in walk-in clinics or urgent care facilities. We want to provide optimal care for the families in our community, but sometimes emergency departments shouldn't be considered the first stop."

"It is always best to call your pediatrician to discuss symptoms," she added. "They should be the first line of defense because they are most familiar with the patient and will be able to direct parents to the best place to receive care."

Walsh outlined when children with flu-like symptoms should be taken to the emergency department. They should be brought in if they have:

  • difficulty breathing or distress,
  • dehydration,
  • severe headache or spinal neck pain,
  • high fever that causes a change in behavior.

"This year's flu season has come early, and it's interesting that influenza B [a springtime virus] is our most common strain," said Dr. Buddy Creech, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program.

"Now is the time to make sure everyone in the family is vaccinated so that we can protect ourselves, each other and those around us who can't be vaccinated because of cancer or other problems with their immune systems," Creech said.

To reduce the spread of the flu and colds, Vanderbilt doctors advise people to: wash hands frequently; cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing; wear a mask when you have signs of illness, and stay home when sick.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on children and the flu.