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Health Information For Parents
The flu vaccine is a good idea for all families. It does not cause the flu and it helps keep kids and parents from getting sick. Getting the flu is worse than having a cold and can make a person sick for a week or more.
Babies younger than 6 months old can’t get the vaccine. But if their parents, other caregivers, and older kids in the household get it, that will help protect the baby. This is important because infants are more at risk for health problems from the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.
But it’s especially important for those who are at greater risk of developing health problems from the flu, including:
Some things might prevent a person from getting the flu vaccine. Talk to your doctor to see if the vaccine is still recommended if your child:
Two types of flu vaccine are available for the 2019–2020 flu season. Both protect against four types of influenza virus:
In the past, the nasal spray vaccine wasn’t recommended for kids because it didn’t seem to work well enough. The newer version appears to work as well as the shot. So either vaccine can be given this year, depending on the child’s age and general health.
The nasal spray is only for healthy people ages 2–49. People with weak immune systems or some health conditions (such as asthma) and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine.
Vaccine shortages and delays sometimes happen. So check with your doctor about vaccine availability, which vaccine is right for your kids, and how many doses they need.
In the past, people with an egg allergy had to check with their doctor about whether the flu vaccine was OK for them because it’s grown inside eggs. But health experts now say that the amount of egg protein in the vaccine is so tiny that it’s safe even for kids with a severe egg allergy. This is especially important during a severe flu season.
Still, a child with an egg allergy should get the flu vaccine in a doctor’s office, not at a supermarket, drugstore, or other venue.
If your child is sick and has a fever, or is wheezing, talk to your doctor about whether to reschedule the vaccine.
Flu season runs from October to May. It’s best to get a flu shot as early in the season as possible, ideally before the end of October. This gives the body time to build its protection from the flu. But getting the vaccine later in the season is still better than not getting it at all.
Get the basics on how flu spreads and how to protect yourself.
The flu can make you sick for a week or more. Find out how to get protected from the influenza virus.
Learn all about protecting your family from the flu and what to do if your child gets flu-like symptoms.
Telltale signs of the flu include a sore throat, body aches and fever. Here’s what to do if your child has the flu.
If you’re old enough to read this, you’ve probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids.
Knowing the doctor-recommended flu vaccination schedule can be confusing. Use this tool to help you understand how many doses your child needs.
Get tips for fending off the flu in this article for teens.
If you’re afraid of shots, you’re not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips.
Just about everybody needs a flu shot. Find out more in this article for kids.
Find out when and why kids need to get the flu vaccine.
Which vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.
Here are some quick tips for helping your child get over the flu.
The flu vaccine is usually offered between September and mid-November. Even though it’s best to get it then, being vaccinated later can still help protect against the flu.
The flu usually makes kids feel worse than if they have a cold. But it’s not always easy to tell the difference. Here are tips on what to look for â and what to do.
Immunizations have protected millions of children from potentially deadly diseases. Learn about immunizations and find out exactly what they do – and what they don’t.
Immunizations protect kids from many dangerous diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy.
Doctors recommend that all teens get vaccinated against the flu. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a shot. Here are the facts on flu vaccines.
Flu symptoms tend to come on quickly and are worse than the sneezing and stuffiness of a cold. The flu is very contagious. Find out what to do in this article for parents.
Follow these tips to help prevent the spread of the flu.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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