Who Needs A Flu Shot?

By: Deborah Spiro, PNP

With school back in session, it is time to start thinking about protecting our children from common winter-time illnesses. Influenza or the flu is one such illness that is highly contagious. It is a viral illness that peaks during the months of October through May.

The flu is spread through respiratory droplets that are passed by coughing and sneezing. A child exposed to the flu will often start having symptoms two days after exposure. Symptoms of flu may include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, weakness and tiredness. These symptoms can last for one to two weeks. However, complications such as pneumonia may persist for longer.

Fortunately, the risk of being infected with the flu can be greatly reduced by receiving the flu vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that ALL children over 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine. Although the vaccine does not guarantee that your child will not get sick, it will lessen the severity of illness if infection does happen. The flu vaccine can be administered as a shot or a nasal spray (if the child is older than 2 years of age and has no history of asthma).

If you would like your child to have the flu vaccine or you have questions or concerns, please call our office.

We wish you a happy and healthy start to the school year!

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