Are flu shots for kids necessary? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to protect your child from the flu is to be sure he gets the flu vaccine. Influenza is dangerous for children who are at a higher risk for complications. In severe cases, it can even cause death.
Here’s what you need to know about the flu shot.
- Influenza is common in children under five years old. 20,000 children in this age group are hospitalized because of the flu each year.
- Severe complications are most common in children under two.
- Children with health issues such as diabetes, asthma, and disorders of the brain and nervous system are at an especially high risk of complications.
- There are several strains of influenza. The seasonal vaccine is developed to protect against what researched determine will be the most common strains.
- The CDC recommends all children over six months of age get vaccinated every year.
- Your child’s pediatrician will determine the best type of vaccination for your child. If a second dose is required, make sure to bring your child in to receive it.
- Adults who come in contact with children under age five should also be vaccinated.
- It is especially important that everyone who comes in contact with infants under six months old is vaccinated, since the infants are too young to receive the vaccine themselves. This includes grandparents, babysitters, health care workers, and daycare workers.
- For maximum protection, get your child vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available each year.
- However, even receiving the influenza shot later in the flu season offers protection.
While you’re talking to your pediatrician about flu shots for kids, make sure your child is up to date on all of his other vaccinations for fall. The CDC offers printable immunization schedules to help you stay on track of shots for children from infants through age eighteen.