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DENVER — State health officials say this year’s flu season is already worse than last year’s with 448 people in 34 counties hospitalized.

We are in the height of the flu season. The peak usually lasts through February.

Doctors say parents need to monitor children for common symptoms like a high fever, nausea and vomiting.

If a fever persists, kids should be taken to the pediatrician.  At home care should consist of plenty of bed rest.

Children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults, so parents should provide juice, water and Gatorade (for older children) or Pedialyte.

Doctors warn that adult flu medication can be dangerous for children so caretakers should always follow dosage recommendations.

Hand-washing for at least 30 seconds several times per day and sterilizing eating utensils will help prevent the spread of the flu virus at home.

Anyone in high risk groups should receive a flu shot, which includes the elderly, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems and health care providers.

For more information about how to care for family members and for a list of common myths about the flu you can visit the Kaiser Permanente website.