What You Need to Know About Protecting Your Child From the Flu
During flu season, your children are walking around with targets on their backs. Because elderly individuals and young children are the two groups of individuals who are most susceptible to the flu virus, it’s crucial to get your child vaccinated. Vaccination is your child’s best defense against the flu this season.
The Flu Virus at a Glance
- The flu is more harmful to your child than the common cold.
- Each year, an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized due to flu complications.
- Each year, there are cases of death from the flu that may have been avoided if the individuals had received a flu vaccine.
- Children with chronic health problems are at an elevated risk of getting the flu virus and suffering major health problems.
The Most Effective Way to Fight
Doctors agree that the single most effective way to protect your child from the flu is to get them vaccinated. Seasonal flu vaccines target the strain of flu predicted to be most rampant each year to ensure your child is protected against the correct threat.
Traditional flu vaccines protect against three viruses:
- Influenza A (H1N1)
- Influenza A (H3N2)
- Influenza B
Take Note: For the 2017-18 flu season, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not advise use of the nasal spray flu vaccine, due to its relative ineffectiveness last season.
Vaccinating Your Child
When considering vaccinating your child, here are some of the most commonly asked questions pertaining to the flu vaccine:
Can My Infant Receive the Flu Shot?
Infants 6 months of age and older can safely get the flu vaccine.
How Many Doses are Needed?
- If your child has already gotten two or more doses of the vaccine over the course of his life, he will only require one dose of the shot.
- If your child is younger than 9 and is getting the shot for the first time or has only gotten the shot one other time in his life, he will need two doses, as one dose in this case would be ineffective.
What are the Side Effects?
Normal side effects may include soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, low-grade fever, or muscle aches.
Take Note: Once vaccinated, it typically takes up to two weeks before your child is fully protected from the virus. During this time, be sure to take proper precautions to protect your family from the flu. Have your child wash their hands regularly and practice other healthy habits.
Protect Your Child Today!
Schedule your child’s appointment with one of our family practice providers to get a flu vaccine. LeBauer offers family practice care in seven locations. If your child is already a LeBauer patient, schedule a flu vaccine by calling your LeBauer office.