As a parent, you do everything you can to protect your children. Buckle them up in the car. Watch them closely when they’re in the water. Teach them to look both ways when they cross the street. Warn them not to talk to strangers.
How about also making sure they get a flu vaccine? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. That includes children from tiny to teen.
Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. For children younger than 5 years of age and those with certain chronic health conditions, like asthma and diabetes, getting a flu vaccine is especially important to avoid serious flu complications like pneumonia, which can lead to hospitalization and even death. About 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized each year from flu complications. The flu can also make some health conditions worse.
There are two kinds of flu vaccine available for children: the regular flu shot and a nasal spray flu vaccine, which is for healthy children 2 years of age and older. Talk to your child’s doctor if you have questions about which type of vaccine your child should receive.
Flu vaccines cannot give you the flu because they are made from killed or weakened influenza viruses. Flu vaccines have an excellent safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines and most people generally do not experience any side effects after being vaccinated. When side effects do occur, they are generally mild and include redness and soreness at the injection site for the flu shot, and occasionally sore throat, runny nose and rarely fever after the nasal spray vaccine. While these symptoms can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, they are mild and resolve quickly when compared to a bad case of the flu.
Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse
A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community posted on Apr 14
When it comes to our daily commute, we could all use a little inspiration. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to encourage employers in eastern Massachusetts to participate in the 2014 Walk/Ride Corporate Challenge — an annual competition that encourages workers to use …Continue Reading A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community