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How long will it take for my child to get sick if he's exposed to the flu? Is there anything I can do to prevent it?

How long will it take for my child to get sick if he''s exposed to the flu? Is there anything I can ...

Flu symptoms can appear anywhere from two to seven days following exposure. Typical symptoms can include headaches, body aches, fever, congestion and coughing. Every child is different, though, so your son could display any or all of these symptoms at the same time.

The best flu prevention is regularly washing your hands. Before eating and after coughing or sneezing, use alcohol-based sanitizers. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the flu vaccine for all children 6 months and older. So if you haven’t already, speak to your pediatrician about vaccinating your child.

If your children do get sick, there's not much you can do to alleviate symptoms beyond keeping them rested and hydrated. Try to get them to drink water and juices and eat as much as they can tolerate. Provide general headache and fever reduction medications as directed by your pediatrician.

Every school district has its own rules on whether sick children should be kept home; my school's guidance is that if you're in doubt, keep your children home. If they’ve been near a sick friend and start to feel sick, take precautions to keep them from getting their other classmates ill. Kids share everything -- and this is one instance when we shouldn't encourage it.

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