Flu season is coming and once again, many parents wonder if they should get their children vaccinated. Below is some information about the flu vaccine that parents should know.
The flu is more serious than the common cold for kids. Young children often require medical care after getting the flu. In fact, each year, an average of 20,000 children under the age of five are hospitalized due to complications from the flu, and for some, the illness can even result in death.
The best way to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children six months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine. Ideally, the best time to get the flu vaccine is as soon as it becomes available as it usually takes up to two weeks before your child is fully protected.
Flu shots can be administered either by injection or by a nasal spray. The nasal spray flu vaccine can be given to children between two and eight years old. Side effects can include runny nose, cough, fever, wheezing, and head or muscle aches. The flu shot can be given to children ages six months and over. Side effects of the flu shot include soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site or a low-grade fever.
Children under six months old are too young to be vaccinated. The best defense for them is to make sure those around them are vaccinated.
Some children who get the flu shot may require two doses. If your child is under nine years old and has never gotten the shot before, two separate doses will be necessary. These doses must be administered at least four weeks apart. If your child has gotten the seasonal flu vaccine before or is over nine years old, only one dose is required.
Please speak with your pediatrician before getting your child vaccinated if:
- If your child isn’t feeling well
- If your child recently had other vaccines
- If your child has any medical conditions
- If your child is allergic to eggs
- If your child had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine
Please call your pediatrician now to schedule you child’s flu shot. If you do not have a pediatrician, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Clinic at 718-206-7001 to make an appointment with one of our qualified pediatric specialists.