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  Flu Resource Center - Guides and Tips to Keep Families Healthy
December 30, 2013

Hospitals in our region are seeing an increase in influenza virus (flu) cases this winter. Children’s National has put together a guide to help keep you and your family safe during this flu season. Our team of specialists will continue to update this information with the latest guidelines, news, and information you need for you and your family this flu season, so check back regularly for updates. If there is additional information that you would like to see on this page, email us with your suggestions at

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Flu Season

Why do I see employees wearing a mask?

At Children’s National Health System, the quality and safety of patient care is our first priority. Many research studies have shown that vaccinating healthcare providers against the influenza virus  is an effective way to prevent the spread of flu among patients and staff. Therefore, all of our employees have been asked to receive their vaccine in a timely manner. For many different reasons, we have staff who cannot receive the vaccine. For the protection of our patients and visitors, we require these employees to wear a mask when they come to work to prevent the possibility of spreading flu. 

Should I come to visit if I don’t feel well?

  • Prior to your visit, we ask that you notify your child’s healthcare team if you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms within the past 5 days:
  • Fever (≥100°F or feeling feverish but no temperature taken)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches, chills, and fatigue
  • Rash or other skin infections
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

If you have answered “yes” to one or more of these symptoms, we would suggest you do not visit until you have fully recovered. This is in the best interest of the patient you plan to visit and to help us fight the spread of infections in the hospital. If you have a cough, you may be asked to wear a mask to protect our patients.  Wash your hands or use the sanitizing gel around our facility to help stop the spread of germs. 

Should I get a flu shot?

Roberta DeBiasi, MD, Discusses Latest Flu Vaccine

Resources for keeping your family flu free:

 Talking with Children about Flu
With so much media coverage about the flu, it is likely that children will have concerns about how the flu affects them, their friends, and family. Here are some tips to help you minimize your children’s fears while also helping them stay healthy.

 Flu Check List for Parents and Caregivers (PDF)
Use this check list to keep track of symptoms, medications, and other information so that you can relay it to your child’s doctor, if needed.

 Facts about Flu Vaccinations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
The following information is helpful background for making decisions around flu vaccine...

Related Links
Helping kids cope with being in the hospital
Helping Siblings Cope with a Brother’s or Sister’s Hospitalization
 Video: How a virus invades your body

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