LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As school districts try to stop the spread of flu, pediatricians have a warning for parents.
Doctors often say if you have just common cold symptoms, don’t come to the office.
But, Dr. Jerry Byrum at All For Kids Pediatric Clinic in Little Rock said there’s an exception right now.
He urges parents with children who have health issues to keep a close eye on them this flu season.
Elizabeth, a 6-year-old patient, visited Dr. Byrum Wednesday like many other kids.
"I really hope it's not the flu,” said Wendy Archer, Elizabeth’s mom.
The little girl wasn’t running high fever and she didn’t quite have flu symptoms.
Typically, kids like Elizabeth with cold symptoms aren’t encouraged to come to the doctor.
"We don't think it's wise because we can't do anything for them,” said Dr. Byrum.
But right now, Byrum recommends parents with children who have underlying health issues such as heart disease, Asthma Diabetes or an Immune Defect to stay aware.
Even with cold symptoms or a slight fever, it's best to get checked.
Elizabeth has a heart disease. That’s why she didn’t take chances because the flu virus is more dangerous for her, especially if it's not caught in time.
"I know he takes good care of us, so we always check to see what we should do,” said Archer.
"It's so important to get it early so the flu can't flood your body with all these flu particles,” said Byrum.
Luckily, Elizabeth walked away flu-free Wednesday, but playing it safe could have saved her life.
The flu killed another 10 adults in Arkansas just last week, but an unusually high number of children are affected.
RELATED: Arkansas flu death toll rises to 46