Can the flu be harmful to children? Isn’t influenza a more advanced form of the cold? The answers to these questions may surprise you. Continue reading to discover three reasons you should schedule a flu shot for your children.
REASON #1: CHILDREN ARE MORE AT RISK
Most illnesses are considered “adult” cases. This is because adults are often encouraged to get vaccinated, entertain routine check-ups, and instill healthy habits to better care for the wellbeing of their minds and bodies. For this reason, children can sometimes be overlooked, given their age and stage of life.
It may shock you to realize that children under five, particularly under two, are at risk of severe flu-related symptoms. A child who contracts the flu is subject to higher doctor visits and hospitalization, missed school days, and isolation from others. On top of the dangerous effects of influenza, these circumstantial changes could prove debilitating for any young person.
Flu vaccines exist to reduce the chances of catching the flu and protect others from viral contagion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the yearly flu (influenza) vaccine for all children who are six months and older. In some cases, the flu vaccine has proved life-saving for kids.
REASON #2: INFLUENZA IS DANGEROUS
Symptomatic responses to influenza vary. The CDC has compiled a list of the most dangerous child-like reactions to the flu:
- Pneumonia: an illness where the lungs get infected and inflamed
- Dehydration: when a child’s body loses too much water and salts (often because fluid losses are more significant than from fluid intake)
- Worsening of long-term medical problems like heart disease or asthma
- Brain dysfunction such as encephalopathy
- Sinus problems and ear infections
- In rare cases, flu complications can lead to death
Every year, millions of children contract the flu, another several thousand are hospitalized, and others suffer death. The CDC estimates that the amount of flu-related hospitalizations for children since 2010 ranges from 7,000 to 26,000. Of those children who died, 80% of them were not fully vaccinated.
REASON #3: THE VACCINE IS EASILY ACCESSIBLE
Children six months and older should receive the vaccination annually in the fall, just before the influenza season. Some children may need two doses. However, if you miss the recommended October date, don’t worry. Receiving the vaccination later can still increase your child’s likelihood of a healthy fall and winter season.
You should consult with a medical professional first if your child is not feeling well, has underlying medical conditions, or has had a previously unfavorable response to the vaccine dosage. This can help ensure your child receives the best possible care.
SCHEDULE YOUR CHILD’S FLU VACCINE AT MEDBRIDGE TODAY
Remember, a flu shot is easy to access and easily administered. Here at MedBridge, we want to help keep your family healthy throughout the upcoming flu season. If you or your child needs a flu vaccine, call us today to schedule or make your appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the MedBridge clinic nearest you:
Fairmont, West Virginia: 304-363-3714
Mannington, West Virginia: 681-285-1232