Children up to the age of 5, as well as adults over 65, are at a much higher risk of getting the flu and dealing with more severe cases. The flu is just more than a seasonal illness. It can cause serious complications in children. Many people are at risk of getting the flu, but children may end up dealing with severe complications.
In the U.S., the flu season starts in the fall and winter with activity peaking between December and February. However, flu activity can last clear through until May. If you have noticed your child suffering from flu-like symptoms, you need to seek kids care with the best pediatrician in Phoenix. This is the first step in ensuring that the flu doesn’t turn into a serious illness.
There Are Many Reasons Children Are More at Risk
One of those reasons is the lack of hand hygiene. When you think about it, children tend to be clustered with other children in schools and daycares. Germs are typically shared in those small groups because kids don’t quite understand proper hand hygiene. Most of the time they get busy interacting and playing and even forget to wash their hands when they should.
Younger Children Have a Weaker Immune System
Immune systems mature with the growth of children. That puts younger children more at risk of the flu since their immune systems are weaker. They can contract serious complications including pneumonia or a severe bacterial infection. Both can lead to hospitalization. Child well checks and regular scheduling of the flu vaccination can help keep your child healthy and safe from the serious complications of the flu.
Children with Chronic Medical Conditions Get the Flu Easily
Does your child have a chronic medical condition? They especially need more kids care when it comes to the flu. Underlying chronic conditions leave children at greater risk of serious, life-threatening conditions such as influenza or other complications.
Pediatric physicians know precisely how to monitor children with chronic lung disease, cancer, and diabetes and when they should receive the flu vaccine. Other chronic auto-immune diseases that increase the risk for severe cases of the flu include blood disorders and congenital heart disease. Focusing on kids care and making sure your child gets a flu vaccine will protect them as well as the people around them. Ultimately, the risk of flu exposure can be lowered for everyone.
How Often Should Children Get a Flu Shot?
Children should get a flu shot between 6 months to 8 years of age. They only require two flu shots the first time they receive them. If your child has only had one flu shot during a previous season, they may need to be vaccinated twice the next season. Children over the age of 9, may only need just one shot. All of this information can be discussed with pediatric medical staff during a kids care appointment.
Prevention Is the Best Defense
A flu vaccine is the best defense against the potentially serious ramifications caused by the flu. For children, it reduces the risk of flu-induced illnesses, missed school, hospitalization, and even death. Per the CDC, every person 6 months of age and older should get a seasonal flu shot every year before the end of October. Some children may require a second dose as needed. It takes two weeks after the second flu vaccination for protection to fully start.
Flu viruses have the ability to circulate longer. Therefore, vaccinations need to continue through the flu season. This includes in January and later. When it comes to kids care, vaccinations are integral for children at a higher risk or in contact with other people of high risk.
Make an Appointment at Pediatrix
Flu shots become available in the Fall when vaccine makers make them available. Vaccines are updated every season to give your child the protection needed against different flu strains. Make an appointment to visit Pediatrix to keep your child protected.