Is your college student ready for flu season? The first defense against the flu is to get the flu vaccine. We would strongly recommend that you remind your college student to go to the Student Health Center at their college or to a local pharmacy (ie. CVS or Walgreens or Right Aid) to get their flu shot. Most of these local pharmacies do not require an appointment and you can just walk in and get one.
Symptoms of the flu include–body aches, high fever for 3-5 days, sore throat, runny nose and cough. If your college age child calls and complains of these symptoms, have them call the Student Health Services immediately to find out what their school’s policy is about being seen, missing class, etc. Make sure they have some one to look in on them to monitor their condition, bring fluids and food and OTC fever reducers. Certainly anyone with an underlying medical condition or severe symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
Dorms are “breeding grounds” for germs and the flu can spread very quickly in crowded quarters. Maintaining good hygiene, with frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizers is very important. Also, you may want to suggest that your college student buy some over the counter flu medication to keep in their dorm room so if they get the flu they will not have to run out to purchase it when they are already ill. As a parent there is nothing worse than feeling helpless when your child is sick in bed at college but helping them prepare gives us parents some measure of comfort.