With flu season right around the corner, many neighborhood pharmacies and clinics are offering flu shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over the age of six months be vaccinated against the flu. While the flu virus changes slightly every year, the vaccination is designed to protect against the main flu that is expected to circulate the most in the area. Being vaccinated before the virus hits an area in full effect can help to prevent the illness before it becomes widespread. Some children require two flu shots to be protected through the season, so it is important to talk to doctors to determine how to effectively vaccinate against the flu.
In addition to getting the vaccine, children should be encouraged to take other measures to keep the flu away. Washing hands thoroughly and often is highly recommended. If your child is sick, they should be kept home from school and playtime activities to avoid getting others sick and to speed recovery. Children should also be given vitamins and healthy food to keep the immune system at peak function.
Children Younger Than Six Months
While children that are younger than six months old are too young to get a flu shot, they are at high risk for flu complications if the virus is contracted. It is very important that parents of young children get a vaccination and take extra precautions to prevent the young child from getting the flu. For those that do not like shots, there is also a nasal spray vaccine available. All types of flu vaccinations take about two weeks to become effective, so the vaccinations should be obtained as soon as possible to protect the family.