As Queensland heads into a heavy COVID and flu year, experts share advice to help parents care for sick kids

But if they don’t get sick as toddlers, are they more likely to get sick at school?

“Infectious diseases change over time, you see all the COVID variants, flu and RSV,” he said.

“Just because you get the 2023 version of influenza A doesn’t mean you’re protected against the 2026 version of influenza A. That’s why we have to keep updating the flu vaccine.”

He said while older children were better at personal hygiene, there was still transmission in schools.

Both experts recommend vaccinations for children, including flu and chickenpox vaccines.

Children also benefit from healthy diet, activity and sleep, Bolton said.

Other tips include encouraging hand washing, covering coughs and throwing away tissues.

“We don’t want to spread this stuff, so please keep your kids home, or if you’re sick yourself, stay home — all of these things are highly contagious,” Bolton said.

Reassuringly, she said things did get better.

“When your kids are sick, someone has to take time off to be with them. It can become a stressful time.

“It does seem to be something that happens when the kids get older … and as the kids get a little older, the parents don’t seem to miss out on much work.”

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