BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Cold and flu season is here, and doctor’s offices are packed with kids suffering from numerous respiratory illnesses.

This winter, parents could be battling a virus triple threat: the flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

While there’s no magic way to keep your kids from ever getting sick, there are some things you can do to better the odds, like keeping their vaccinations up to date.

That includes the flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

Make sure you show your kids how to properly wash their hands. They should scrub for 20 seconds when they get home, after using the bathroom, and before eating.

Also, wearing a mask is still an effective form of protection, especially in crowded indoor spaces.

If your children do end up getting sick, make them as comfortable as possible. They generally need time to get better, so let them rest. Most importantly, keep them hydrated.

As for medication, check with your doctor first, but it’s usually okay to give them children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Steer clear of cough medicine because it doesn’t really work well for them and can even be dangerous.

It’s also important to know the signs of an emergency. If your child has a fever of 105 degrees, shows signs of dehydration, or is having trouble breathing, take them to an emergency room. Any fever in newborns under 2 months should also be considered an emergency.

Finally, if you have sick children, keep them home to help keep others from getting sick.

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