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, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014