During this stressful and deadly flu season, it’s common for parents of young children to panic, but that’s the last thing you should do.

If your child becomes sick or begins to show symptoms of an illness, you’ll want to follow a few steps.

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“Families are understandably scared, especially families with young children,” Dr. Dan Salinas, Chief Medical Officer at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, said.

Before you visit a doctor, check to see if your child’s symptoms match what is posted on CHOA’s website. If your child’s symptoms match that of the flu, don’t go to the emergency room but your pediatrician or primary physician.

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“[Parents] should first seek help through their pediatrician or primary physician. If they’re unable to be seen there, they should consider receiving care at one of Children’s urgent care centers,” Dr. Salinas said. “If they’re really worried about their child’s symptoms and if they’re severe, they should treat that as an emergency.”

The most important thing to do if you think your child has the flu is to contact your pediatrician. They know your child’s medical history the best and can tell without a test if they have the flu or not.

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